BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — Dryness and unusually strong frosts and crop-eating pests could lower Argentina’s 2020-21 wheat yields by as much as 50%, Reuters reported, citing the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange.

Areas of the Pampas grains belt has had below-normal rainfall. Planted acreage fell to 6.5 million hectares from 6.8 million as growers were nervous about the dryness.

“Estimates of potential yield losses range between 20% and 50%, in northeastern and northwestern farm areas, and in the province of Cordoba," the report said, adding that affected areas account for more than 25% of this year’s wheat plantings.

“We do not rule out the threat that some fields may simply be abandoned due to poor weather conditions.”

The southern portion of Buenos Aires, the heart of Argentina’s wheat belt, has seen better moisture in recent days.

In the 2019-20 season, Argentina’s farmers planted 6.6 million hectares of wheat and harvested 18.8 million tonnes.