Over the past two months, the La Niña weather pattern has caused a prolonged drought in Argentina, as well as Paraguay and Brazil, which is estimated to yield ten million metric tonnes less of corn crops than previously estimated, and four million less of soybean crops. If rains do not pick up, the damage is predicted to be irreversible.
“The situation is disastrous and the loss is enormous” Martin Fraguio of Maizar, an Argentine corn farming group, told Business Week.
The soybeans are in “intensive care” added Miguel Calvo, head of Argentine soybean association Acsoja.
Farmers’ representative groups are blaming President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s policies for their insufficient protection in such circumstances. The president has been criticised for her lack of financial help – refusing requests for increasing the state security fund in the case of drought, and refusing an overview to relax the tax burden for farmers.
Temperatures are forecast to remain around 35 degrees Celsius throughout January, with the Buenos Aires province set to have “scarce or no rain,” according to the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange.