Recently-seeded Argentine wheat threatened by rain

Buenos Aires | Reuters — Heavy rains in Argentina’s farm belt over recent days have increased the risk of wheat crop loss, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly crop progress report Thursday.

Wheat in the South American grains powerhouse is planted mostly in May through July and harvested November through January.

The recent showers have left wide areas of breadbasket province Buenos Aires inundated with water.

“Central and southeast Buenos Aires province make up 18 per cent of this season’s wheat planting area,” the report said. “Potential losses due to excess moisture is very elevated in these two areas.”

Last week, the exchange cut its 2014-15 wheat area estimate by 100,000 hectares (247,100 acres), to a total of 4.1 million hectares, due to excessive rain.

Wheat area is nonetheless expected well above the 3.6 million hectares planted with the grain in the 2013-14 crop year, thanks to farmers’ growing need to rotate crops after years of over-planting soy.

— Reporting for Reuters by Maximiliano Rizzi in Buenos Aires.

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