La Niña and the livestock crisis in Argentina

Updated Mar 16, 2023
Argentina's beef cattle industry is facing significant challenges due to the La Niña weather pattern, which has caused drought in most parts of the country. According to a USDA report released on the 14th, about half of Argentina's pasture area is in poor condition, leading to severe degradation in pasture conditions and production problems. The report highlights key calf production areas that suffer from poor grazing conditions, leading to a significantly lower calf crop projection for 2023. Despite having a "younger" herd of cows, most analysts predict lower pregnancies. In recent years, ranchers have been sending large numbers of cull cows to market, taking advantage of the high prices paid by beef exporters serving the Chinese market.
Although the calves that will be weaned in the fall of 2023 will be in large numbers, they will likely be leaner than usual. Many calf operations use early weaning to help cows regain body condition for the next service season. The good returns in recent years have encouraged producers to invest and incorporate more technology and better management practices. Despite the severe drought, there are no significant livestock losses reported so far. However, losses are estimated to be slightly higher than normal at 1.25 million head in 2023. The situation highlights the need for better management practices and investment in technology to mitigate the impact of drought on the sector in the future. However, the industry is facing significant challenges due to the ongoing drought, which has also affected agricultural production. Wheat and barley production in MY 2022-2023 fell by 30% to 40%, while corn and soybean crops are also expected to suffer significant losses. Despite the reduced ...
By clicking “Accept Cookies,” I agree to provide cookies for statistical and personalized preference purposes. To learn more about our cookies, please read our Privacy Policy.