Argentina likely to harvest record soybean crop

Yield may rise as El Nino expected to bring needed downpours over drought-hit farmlands.

Argentina may produce a record 50 million metric tons of soybean in the next harvest as weather conditions created by El Nino are expected to bring downpours over most farmlands by November, Bloomberg reported. The country, reeling from severe drought, has witnessed a drastic fall in its most recent soybean, corn and wheat harvests.

The 2008-09 soybean harvest, gathered between February and June, was decimated by the drought to 32 million metric tons, the lowest since 2004. 

Though the area planted to soybean will rise, yield may be less than normal as the drought has left farmers cash-strapped and curtailed their investments on fertilizers, insecticides and machinery, Hugo Biolcati, president of the Argentine Rural Society, was quoted as saying.

Corn production may also suffer as farmers are likely to plant soy, which is cheaper to produce. According to cereals exchange, corn planting will decline 20% to 2 million hectares from 2.5 million last year.

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