What are the aspects that discourage the planting of wheat

In an exhaustive analysis of the negative and positive factors of the current wheat campaign in the core zone, a report from the Rosario Stock Exchange (BCR) indicated that “it is very complicated” to repeat the conditions to achieve record yields, as in the previous cycle. However, as an encouraging aspect, he pointed out that cereal margins have improved in recent times.

“The yield of indifference for rented land went from 41 to 35 quintals per hectare”, pointed out the panorama of the BCR. However, he made it clear that this week’s surveys regarding sowing intentions and wheat technology did not improve with respect to what was indicated 15 days ago.

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Therefore, in the core zone it is still forecast a 10% reduction in intent to implant20% less fertilization and an estimated production of 2 million tons less than a year ago (7.8 million).

Why doesn’t planting intention improve?

“La Niña”, the possibility of a dry winter, margins that still give rise to doubts and areas that still lack many millimeters to reach the adequate humidity to raise the crop, are the factors that lower the sowing intention, according to the entity from Rosario.

In the zone of Aldaoengineers commented that some growers think “reduce wheat to a minimum”meaning reductions up to 80%. “But there are more cases that are between the dilemma of going down 20% to 30%, or maintaining an area similar to that of 2021,” they explained.

Source: BCR

“Those who think about lowering the area are producers with positive results in the recent thick campaign. Those who would maintain the intention, in many cases, are those who were severely punished this summer and see a lifeline in wheat: with good performance it would be to win revenge in 2022, ”the panorama detailed.

“If they have moisture in the seed bed, they will plant. Wheat is a passionate crop, while corn is good sense, technicians added.

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In Corral of Busts They said: “We hope a significant drop. Although an improvement is perceived in the margins of wheat, mainly due to the increase in price and a drop of US$ 200 per ton in the price of ureaeven the yields of indifference in rented field are very high. Added to this is the threat of a new Girl.”

The picture is similar in Bigand: “The planting intention is 15% lower”. In Carlos Pellegrini, El Trebol and Cañada Rosquín commented that the area to be planted would be maintained, but the application of technology would fall.

They warn that it is “very complicated” for the records to be repeated

in the cycle 2021/22cereal yields “they were record”highlighted the BCR, exceeding 47 quintals per hectare. Instead, those of 2020/21 were the lowest of the decade, with 29 quintals.

“Many producers today see wheat as the possibility of accommodating the numbers, but, unfortunately, the shot can backfire: current levels of fertilizer, input and rental costs put a very high financial burden at stake”, indicated the BCR.

In this context, the entity from Santa Fe consulted Santiago Alvarez Pradoresearcher at CONICET at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the National University of Rosario (UNR)about what caused wheat to have an “exceptional year” last season and how likely it is to happen again.

“High level of useful water for sowing, high photo-thermal quotient in the critical period and high doses of nitrogen. The planets aligned for wheat, because sowing was also a record”, indicated the Stock Market report when reviewing what happened in the last wheat season.

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Dr. Álvarez Prado referred to How did this favorable combination of variables occur?. “Wheat had a large load of useful water from sowing. When the useful water is 65 to 100% (measured between 1 and 1.8 meters deep), the probability that the crop experiences a water deficit during its cycle is low. And that is what happened: in spring it did not rain, but it did not affect the number or weight of grains, that is, the water deficit was very slight: there was no negative impact on the yield components.”

The other variable was the photo-thermal quotient (radiation/mean temperature). “When compared to the historical series, the winter 2021 photo-thermal quotient was higher than average, right around the critical period, between late September and early October.”

The specialist recalled a publication of Fernandez Long (2022) where it is observed how the quotient rises during the critical period in the localities of Marcos Juarez, Laboulaye and Junin. “The coefficient was above the average in all these locations: the crop set a greater number of grains.”

In blue, the historical photothermal coefficient of the last 10 to 15 years is plotted, in orange in photothermal coefficient of 2021. And in red dotted lines, the moment of the year where the critical period fell.  (Source: BCR)
In blue, the historical photothermal coefficient of the last 10 to 15 years is plotted, in orange in photothermal coefficient of 2021. And in red dotted lines, the moment of the year where the critical period fell. (Source: BCR)

And the other variable that made the difference, according to the specialist, was the high levels of fertilizationwhich were unprecedented, even for small producers.

But this year, could wheat have those conditions? “It is very difficult to repeat it”, the specialist replied.

“First, We depend on the rain. It’s what everyone is looking at, if it’s going to rain to reload the profiles. With the first variable, having a high percentage of useful water, it is not yet available in the region”, he commented.

As for the photothermal quotient, he pointed out that what will happen there can no longer be predicted. “Normally, when there is a dry year ahead, like the one forecast, we would tend to think that there will be fewer cloudy days and therefore more radiation available. But it is not something that can be known in advance. And finally, with the current price of fertilizers, the nitrogen units to be applied will be reduced”, he analyzed.

Weather forecasts indicate lack of rain

In the short to medium term, the crop needs “an event similar to the one that happened in the last week and a half of May 2021 to be repeated,” the Stock Exchange said. But can that happen?

“The rains exceeded all expectations and broke the statistics of the last 30 years,” explained the BCR’s Strategic Guide for Agriculture (GEA) at the time. The event was very important throughout the Pampas region and was key to achieving later records.

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But in the short term, “it does not seem possible” that this will be repeated. In this regard, the Doctor in Atmospheric Sciences of the BCR, Jose Luis Ayellodescribed: “May starts dominated by the presence of a high pressure center that fosters conditions of stability in most of the country. The exception is some moderate and very limited rainfall in the extreme north of the Argentine Mesopotamia. The change in circulation that occurred in the monthly exchange is sustained, promoting an environment that is very typical of the time of year, and forecasts project little or no rain until the second decade of the month”.

Source: BCR
Source: BCR

And in the medium and long term, the current conditions of “Niña” are not favorable, the report explained. The recent update of the ONI, the index that evaluates the anomaly of the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean (ONI) carried out by NOAA, went from -0.9 in March to -1.0 in April. “This does not encourage an evolution to full neutrality at the end of spring”, explained the BCR consultant, Alfredo Elorriaga.

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But why is the Pacific getting colder again at a time when it doesn’t usually do so? Elorriaga answered: “In this part of the year, the cooling usually stops due to typical behavior of maritime circulation and other factors, that is why it is a bad sign. But, unfortunately, it is not surprising, we have been observing that the temperature anomalies, averaged up to 300 meters deep during March, they decreased and continue that trend. In the first decade of April, all the regions of the El Niño index remained between -0.7ºC and -1.1ºC”.

In addition, the ocean-atmosphere phenomenon “is coupled and is quite strong for this time of year.” According to the report, the wind anomalies from the east at low levels and from the west at high levels prevailed in the western and eastern pacificrespectively.

Source: BCR
Source: BCR

“This is why we very recently saw the flip side of La Niña effects in other areas of the world, such as the flooding problems in Australia or more recently in Indonesia,” the report concluded.

Meanwhile, for next week, the humidity “will gradually increase, generating the presence of fog and fog banks in the GEA zone.” On that, Aiello predicted: “Little or no rain until the second decade of the month.”

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