Argentina’s corn  and soybean  growers made rapid planting progress last week thanks to favorable soil moisture conditions, but soybean planting continued to lag in Brazil due to dry conditions in the country’s large center-west growing belt.
Argentine producers planted 14% of their corn crop during the week ended Thursday, Oct. 21, pushing overall progress to 62%, 15 points ahead of last year’s pace.
"In Villa Maria (in Cordoba province), sowing has progressed quickly. The first crops to be planted have already germinated and are in optimum condition, with no sign of diseases," the government said in its weekly crop update.
The government offered no assessment of soybean planting progress, but said that planting was underway in most key growing areas.
"Even though it's early, there have been reports of sowing in the Villaguay district (in Entre Rios province) for fears that there will be a lack of rainfall during the summer," the government said.
Soy sowing also advanced in top-producing region Cordoba, with good soil conditions in Marcos Juarez. "There are no problems with seeding," the report said.
The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, in its weekly crop report, estimated that Argentine farmers had planted 4.6% intended soybean acreage compared with only 0.2% at the same time a year earlier.
In Brazil’s top soybean state of Mato Grosso, planting continues to move slowly with many producers still awaiting the arrival of seasonal rains that are now nearly two months overdue.
While rainfall has improved somewhat in Mato Grosso during October, it appears that the rainy season there now won’t start until early to mid-November.
Producers in Mato Grosso had planted only 16.4% of their soy crop as of Oct. 21 – up nearly 10% from a week earlier, but less than half of the 36.8% that was planted a year earlier when the growing season got off to a nearly start.
While planting is going slowly in Mato Grosso, it has been moving swiftly in many of Brazil’s other growing states. Private estimates put Brazil’s overall soybean planting progress at 16-17% as of Friday, down several percentage points from last year’s pace, but ahead of the long-term average.
According to private analysts, Parana, Brazil’s No. 2 soybean state had planted 30-35% of its crop by Friday against only 18% a year earlier.
Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.