Argentina corn production expected to reach 53 million tons despite challenges

24 May 20242 min reading

In the latest ‘World Agricultural Production’ report by the USDA, Argentina's corn production forecast for marketing year (MY) 2023/24 stands at 53 million tons, indicating a 4 percent decrease from the previous month. However, this figure marks a significant 47 percent increase compared to the previous year (MY 2022/23). The estimated yield is 7.57 tons per hectare, a remarkable 42 percent increase from last year. 

Planting of corn in Argentina typically occurs from late September to early February, with two distinct periods: early-planted corn from late September to early December and late-planted corn from early December to early February. In May, Bolsa de Cereales Buenos Aires has revised their corn planted area forecast to 7.6 mha. However, USDA expects the abandonment rate to be higher than average this year due to an infestation of the corn leafhopper insect.

The leafhoppers transmit bacteria that negatively impact the development of corn kernels. Industry reports indicate partially developed corn cobs with very light weight and poor quality as a result of the infestation. As of early May, harvest has commenced and is already 22 percent complete. This initial phase of the harvest primarily comprises the early-planted corn, which was less affected by the insect infestation. However, the full extent of the damage caused by the leafhoppers will only become evident as the harvest progresses to the late-planted corn areas.

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