Drier weather in early November favoured harvesting of the 1997 wheat crop which had been delayed due to above-average rains in October attributed to the El Niņo phenomenon. Localized flooding has been reported in northern parts of the country and large producing southwestern Buenos Aires province. No damage, however, has been incurred to the crops, but wheat yields could be affected and a fungus outbreak occur should the excessive rains resume. The abundant rains, by contrast, benefited some areas in Cordoba and Santa Fe that were being affected by severe dry weather. Early forecasts point to a 14 million tons wheat crop, compared to a record 16 million tons in 1996, but production would still be above average.
Planting of the 1997/98 maize crop has also been delayed due to excessive rains and damage to crops in some parts of the Buenos Aires province is reported. By early November, about 70 percent of the intended area planted to maize had been sown. Agricultural activities have been accelerated in anticipation of the unusually excessive rains which are forecast towards the end of the year and due to El Niņo.