Argentina reports extensive crop damage due to unseasonal weather
Reports from cherry, peach, corn and soy bean producers indicate 2012 may end on a rough note for the Argentine agriculture industry.
Rain and frost during the month of October have led to reports of crop damage across various agriculture industries in Argentina, local media reported.
Cherry producers in the Neuquén region have reported losses due, in part, to low temperatures. Luis Franzán, a local producer, told newspaper La Mañana Neuquén that although he did not experience losses himself, he knew of damages in the central valley, Mendoza and Chile.
"There was a lack of rennet in bloom and it is unclear why that is. We believe it can be caused by very cold weather that has caused low bee activity at the time of pollination," he was quoted as saying.
Or the lack of wind in the case of self-fertile varieties for pollination. And this has caused some plants to give little fruit."
"It's really rough but here in the Castro area, there isn't a peach left ... At moments you can't believe what you see," Gobernador Castro government secretary Javier Silva told newspaper La Opinión Semanario.
Speculation of possible frost damage to corn and soy bean crops has also been made, although current forecasts remain good. Unseasonable rain in August and September increased production in typically dry regions and contributed to estimates that this year Argentina might produce record corn and soy bean output, website Noticias.terra.com.ar reported.
A representative from the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, however, told the website last week that extensive rain delayed the 2012-2013 corn planting schedule.
Furthermore, although soy bean production could reach 58 million tons (MT) this season under agreeable conditions, no one has been quick to celebrate just yet.