The 2006-07 crop cycle in Argentina will be soy-filled with nearly 16 million hectares (more than 35 million acres) planted to the crop, according to a release from the Agriculture Secretariat reported by Dow Jones. USDA estimates the Argentine soy crop will hit 42 million metric tons, while analysts' predictions range from 41 to 45 million metric tons.
Part of the cause of the boost in soy acres was an early drought that trimmed wheat and corn planting. Rising soybean prices are also an incentive to the South American growers. As of Dec. 14, about 73% of the area forecast for soy had been planted, compared with 76% at the same time in 2005, according to the report.
Wheat production did get a boost in estimated production in the same Agriculture Secretariat report, and may rise to 13.7 million tons. That's a boost over last month's estimate of 13.6 million tons. Crop-saving rains that arrived in mid-October ended fears from the previous drought that had many predicting lower output.
USDA is predicting that Argentine wheat output will hit 14.2 million tons.
As for corn, despite the early drought, acres are up more than 8% and about 84% of the 2006-07 corn crop has been planted.