BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Heavy rains this year in Argentina have flooded 3.5 million hectares (8.6 million acres) of farmland outside the capital, causing millions of dollars in losses for farmers and ranchers and prompting the governor of Buenos Aires province to declare an agricultural emergency.
Gov. Daniel Scioli says it has been raining twice as much this year than in all of 2011, and the rainfall has come down more quickly than usual, creating great accumulations of water.
The government estimates 14 percent of the province's wheat and barley has been lost, and says cattle have suffered just when calving season was beginning. Beekeeping has been severely affected as well.
Scioli said Monday that the disaster declaration will enable agricultural businesses to delay paying taxes and debts.