In general terms, peanuts have improved their status compared to the situation reported in November. December brought good thermal and rainfall records, which favored the recovery of the crop, this leaving behind the temporary water stress (except for isolated exceptions) that was reported before. The peanut plants are flowering and have achieved so far a high number of plants per meter, which demonstrates a positive response of the crop to the current environmental conditions.
Due to the current levels of humidity, determining the most suitable moment to apply fungicides is imperative. Should the climatic conditions continue to evolve favorably, our expectation is to end this new peanut cycle with a good harvest.
MAIN PEANUT AREA MAP
The main peanut area in Argentina includes the provinces of Cordoba, La Pampa, San Luis and Buenos Aires. The total planted area for Crop 2017/2018 was estimated at 423.000 hectares approximately, which represents an increase of 5.22%, compared to the previous year. In general terms, it can be divided as follows:
During December, rainfall of varying intensity was recorded, achieving high figures in a big part of the peanut area.
The Central and Northern Areas registered heavy rains, which marked maximum monthly values for some cities.
Towards the east of those areas, the highest levels of rainfall were recorded. As a result, there were flooded cities and fields, which led to interrupted roads that hindered access to the lots. The most affected cities were General Levalle, Laboulaye, Serrano, Estacion Jovita and Mataldi.
In the Southern Area, which is the most compromised in terms of water reserves, rainfall was lower, although sufficient to complete the soil moisture profiles. Here, the groundwater levels are high, as a consequence of the rainfall that occurred in the 16-17 season.
Finally, in the Western Area, precipitations were timely and abundant to counteract the scenario described in the previous report, which showed a temporary drought. At the moment, global rainfall is slightly below the historical average.
EXTENDED FORECAST TREND
The following table and chart, which represent the results of a prediction model created by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (Columbia University), show the probabilities of occurrence of each ENSO (El Niño/Southern Oscillation) climatological event.
During December 2017 and January 2018, the model predicts the occurrence of La Niña in high intensity conditions, which are expected to ease towards February and March 2018. During the end of the latter month, the effect of La Niña would dissapear to originate a Neutral phase, which is expected to remain for the rest of the peanut season.
There is still a long way to go. We are currently at stages of high nutritional demand by the crop, so it is imperative that conditions evolve as expected in order for our expectations of positive results to materialize.
We can conclude that the crop has improved its situation, compared to our previous report. Our current expectation is aligned to a favorable productive scenario, with very good water conditions in general, despite the difficult beginning.
All the peanut areas present a soil in field condition, although there are some specific zones in the Southern Area that exhibit a slight delay. However, this situation has not generated any negative effect to date, since the crop is beginning the reproductive stage. Regarding the number of emerged plants, the result so far is positive, achieving a general average of 9.5 plants per meter.
Should the climatic conditions persist and develop as expected, we are optimistic about the final results of the crop.