Argentine Peanut Crop Report
Season 2019/2020 – #2
As we approach the end of November, a slight improvement in the general agro-climatic condition is reported, given that rains were finally received throughout the entire peanut area. Although they varied in intensity and regularity, they were helpful to replenish soil moisture profiles. This aspect is of key importance for the beginning of the plant growing cycle, in which good moisture conditions are required for plants to develop adequately.
In this context, planting tasks accelerated throughout all the areas detailed in our reference map. It is expected that all plantings will be concluded within an acceptable time frame. As of the date of preparation of this report, the planting progress in relation to the total estimated area is 94%.
It is worth recalling that, in relation to the previous season, plantings of Crop 2019-2020 started late because soils did not have enough moisture to implant seeds and generate a good emergence of peanut plants.
It is expected that the area that remains to be planted will be completed in a period not exceeding 5 days. In relation to the development of areas that have already been planted, we report that:
- 33% are in the process of germination.
- 67% are in early emergency.
Main Peanut Area Map
The main peanut area in Argentina includes the provinces of Cordoba, La Pampa, San Luis and Buenos Aires. In general terms, it can be divided as follows:
Rainfall and Temperature Analysis
Although the accumulated rainfall records during spring continue below the historical averages, November brought an improvement, mainly after November 12th, alleviating the complicated picture that was glimpsed at the beginning of the month. After several months below the historical average, November managed to position itself above the trend line, thus improving expectations for the future.
Nowadays, there is a heterogeneous situation, depending on the geographical area. Towards the Western area, rains were not considerable, but sufficient to improve soil moisture profiles. In the Northern, Eastern, Central-South and Southern areas, better figures were recorded, so that the temporary drought condition reported a few weeks ago improved dramatically. In the Northern area, where a more important water deficit was detected, the last records marked between 80 and 100 mm in some towns. In contrast, the Western and Central areas are the ones that show the worst records of available water reserves. Temporary drought conditions are reported in some locations in these areas.
As for the thermal records, November temperatures registered below normal values according to zonal and provincial statistics. During the first two weeks of the month, the minimum temperatures hovered around 14° C, while the maximum temperatures were between 24°C and 26°C (source: SMN). By the third week, temperatures normalized and reached optimal values (minimum 17º C and maximum between 25º C and 29º C). Conditions to reach an environment conducive to the emergence of the seed, in terms of moisture and temperature, are now given.
Available Water Content in Cordoba
The maximum retention capacity or “field capacity” implies that the extraction of water by the vegetables occurs without any difficulty. Between the field capacity and the permanent wilting point there is the range of what we call useful water in the arable layer.
The figure shows that, during November in the peanut area, the average values are between 50% and 60% of useful water in the soil profile (field condition).
Phenological Development Stages
In general terms, the peanut crop is in an active stage of growth, indicating that in the coming weeks the plant emergency will be fully generalized.
Peanut Development Stages
V1: first tetrafoliolate leaf
V2: second tetrafoliolate leaf
V3: third tetrafoliolate leaf
V4: fourth tetrafoliolate leaf
V – (N): one to N developed nodes on main axis
R1: beginning bloom
R2: beginning peg
R3: beginning pod
R4: full pod
R5: beginning seed
R6: full seed
R7: beginning maturity
R8: harvest maturity
Herbicide treatments continue in all areas of our reference map. In addition, weeding hoe tasks are already planned since a low effectiveness of chemical treatments is expected. Due to the great drought conditions in which the new season began, herbicides fail to enter the soil effectively, so additional non-chemical methods to compensate for the expected low efficiency will be needed.
As for plantings, the average density was 14 seeds per meter, at a distance between rows of 70 cm; achieving an average per hectare of 12 plants per meter, thus reaching 172,000 plants achieved.
Despite the adverse conditions in which the 2019/2020 peanut season began in Argentina, there was an improvement in the current situation and expectations, mainly due to a reversal of the drought condition previously reported. Although the outlook is still far from ideal, soil moisture levels have increased and this is a key aspect for the development of plants in the next few months, which will have direct impact on the expected yields in the fields.
As it happens every year, the constant monitoring of the crop and the presence of widespread and sufficient rains in the summer months will be key, since that is the time when the peanut crop has the highest water demands. Having reported a planting progress around 94% of the total expected area, we believe that there is a high probability of framing the total plantings before November 30th.
Compared to the previous report, although expectations have improved, it is still too early to draw comprehensive conclusions. It’s imperative to manage our activities with prudence and professionalism, in order to obtain the best possible results.
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