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Argentina Soybean Yield Is Forecast to Reach 4-Year High, Gro Model Predicts

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A bumper soybean crop in Argentina will help offset a forecasted production decline in Brazil, according to Gro’s machine learning-based yield forecast models.

Gro’s Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), an indicator of crop health, for Argentina’s soybean-growing areas is trending near historical highs, according to Gro’s Climate Risk Navigator for Agriculture. Recent rains, triggered in part by El Niño, have also reduced Gro Drought Index readings and boosted soil moisture levels since mid-October. 

As a result, Argentina’s soybean yields are currently forecast to rise sharply to the highest level in four years, according to Gro’s Argentina Soybean Yield Forecast Model. Argentina is the world’s largest exporter of soybean oil and soybean meal.

Previous El Niño years, including 2019 and 2015, have brought higher soybean and corn yields to Argentina compared to La Niña years, as shown in this Gro display. During the 2022/23 crop year, La Niña fueled drought conditions for Argentine crops, cutting year-over-year soybean and corn production by 43% and 31%, respectively. 

El Niño conditions are forecast to continue at least through May, which bodes well for Argentina’s crops. Gro’s medium- to long-term weather forecasts currently indicate favorable growing conditions will persist from January through harvest. However, forecasts made months in advance contain a high degree of uncertainty. 

Argentina begins harvesting its soybean crop in late March. Its corn crop is harvested mid-March through June.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s soybean crop has been beset by erratic rainfall likely exacerbated by El Niño, as Gro highlighted here. Gro’s Brazil Soybean Yield Forecast Model is currently predicting a drop in yields versus last year, though the crop could still recover if conditions improve. 

Gro’s Brazil Soybean Monitor and Argentina Soybean Monitor include Gro’s machine learning-based yield forecast models, along with growing conditions and supply and demand balance sheets. In 2023, Gro’s Brazil soybean model estimate was 98% accurate six months before Brazil’s government released its final figure, and our Argentina soybean model’s forecast was within 94% of Argentina’s Ministry of Agriculture’s final number more than five months before publication.

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