May 27, 2021

Light Frost latest Worry for Safrinha Corn in Southern Brazil

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Cold temperatures earlier this week in southern Brazil added to farmer worries about their 2020/21 safrinha corn production. The Brazilian National Weather Service (Inmet) indicated that the coldest air of the season resulted in light frost in western Parana on Tuesday night and more frost may occur Wednesday night across southern Brazil, especially in the higher elevations of the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.

The President of the Rural Syndicate of Cascavel in western Parana confirmed that light frosts occurred in the low-lying areas of western Parana, but any damage will not be fully known for about five days.

The potential for frost damage is just the latest concern for the late-planted safrinha corn in southern Brazil. Even before this week's frost, the crop had suffered from a prolonged drought since the crop was planted. The President of the Rural Syndicate had already estimated that the corn yields would be down at least 20% due to the dry conditions. The corn did receive some light showers over the past week, but the rainfall was not heavy enough to recharge the depleted soil moisture.

The poor condition of the safrinha corn was confirmed in the latest weekly assessment from the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) which rated the crop as 31% poor, 47% average, and 22% good. The corn was rated 1% germinating/emerging, 13% in vegetative development, 51% pollinating, 29% filling grain, and 6% mature. The percentage of the crop rated good has been declining on a weekly basis since early April.