BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — While wheat crops are receiving better-than-expected rain in Argentina, dryness is threatening vulnerable corn crops reaching critical development stages, reported Reuters, citing industry analysts.

Currently, the corn harvest forecast is for a record 57 million tonnes in 2021-22, but analysts said they may need to pare back that number should this dry weather pattern hold in the coming weeks.

Esteban Copati, head analyst, Buenos Aires Grains Exchange, said late-planted corn could make up potential yield losses for early-planted corn under stress.

Argentina is the world’s second-biggest corn exporter and top supplier of soymeal for livestock feed.

Argentine farmers have planted more than 81% of the expected 2021-22 soy area and 70% of corn, according to a recent exchange report. 

Forecasts earlier in the season warned that the La Niña climate phenomenon might bring dryness to Argentina earlier in the season, but it arrived toward the end of the calendar year, affecting some of the nation’s best corn land, Copati said.

Argentine wheat crops, currently being harvested, received good rainfall in the second part of 2021, raising yields and prompting the exchange to raise its crop estimate to a record 21.5 million tonnes.

The Rosario grains exchange said in a report that higher temperatures and lack of rain in recent weeks are expected to lead to yield losses of 20% to 40% in the eastern part of the country.