Dec 08, 2021

Soy Producers in S. Brazil Concerned About Developing Dryness

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

Approximately 60% of the soybeans in Brazil are in good condition and 40% are encountering various levels of dryness with the state of Rio Grande do Sul being the most at risk. The weather during December is going to be critical for the soybeans and right now, the forecast does not look encouraging for southern Brazil.

The 2021/22 Brazilian soybeans were 94.5% planted as of late last week compared to 88.9% last year and 91.7% average according to AgRural. The soybeans remaining to be planted are in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and in northeastern Brazil. The earlier planted soybeans are flowering and setting pods and some of the earlier maturing soybeans should be ready to start harvesting before the end of December.

Dry weather is becoming a bigger concern in southern Brazil. The state of Rio Grande do Sul is most at risk and the forecast for this week is calling for only light and scattered showers with high temperatures in the range of 35°C (95°F). The dryer-than-normal conditions in southern Brazil are typical when a La Nina is present in the Pacific Ocean. Most of southern Brazil has recently turned dryer, but the state of Rio Grande do Sul has been most impacted.

Rain over the weekend favored northern Brazil while southern Brazil remained mostly dry. The forecast is calling for continued good conditions in the states of Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais, and Bahia. Dryness is expected to expand in the southern states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Parana, and southern Mato Grosso do Sul.

Mato Grosso - Early soybean planting and favorable conditions are setting the stage for a record soybean crop in the state. Farmers will start harvesting some of the earliest planted soybeans by the end of December.

The pictures below were taken on Monday, November 29th near the city of Campo Verde in southeastern Mato Grosso. The weather in the region has been good thus far this growing season and farmers are expecting good yields. In the first picture, on the right are eucalyptus trees which are commonly planted around the perimeter of the farmsteads. If the farm has grain dryers, they are usually fired using eucalyptus.



Parana - The soybeans in Parana were 99% planted as of earlier last week according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The soybeans were 2% germinating, 71% in vegetative development, 24% flowering, and 3% filling pods. The soybeans were rated 1% poor, 8% average, and 91% good.

The rainfall in Parana during November was below normal especially in western and northwestern areas. The historical average precipitation for Parana during November is 152 mm (6.0 inches) and the average for November 2021 was 69 mm (2.7 inches). In the city of Guaira in far northwestern Parana, the historical average precipitation for November is 196 mm (7.8 inches) and this November they received 32 mm (1.2 inches).

The average maximum temperature in November was about 1.5°C (2.7°F) higher than average resulting in greater evaporation and reduced soil moisture.

In the municipality of Toledo in western Parana, the soybean growing season started fine, but the weather turned dryer in November and the crop is now experiencing moisture stress and facing potential yield losses. According to the president of the Rural Union of Toledo/PR, it is too early to know the extent of the losses, but yields are expected to be below the 65 to 70 sacks per hectare (58 to 62.5 bu/ac) registered last year.

The forecast is calling for dryer-than-normal weather for at least the next two weeks and if that forecast verifies, yield losses will increase. The state of Parana planted approximately 14% of Brazil's soybean acreage and Conab estimated in November that the average yield would be 3,678 kg/ha (54.8 bu/ac) with a total production of 20.7 million tons.

Below are some weather maps published by the state of Parana.


Total precipitation in Parana for November 2021


Precipitation in Parana during November 2021 compared to historical average.


Deficit (-) or excess precipitation (+) in Parana on November 30, 2021

Rio Grande do Sul - Rio Grande do Sul is the state with the most worrisome weather in southern Brazil. The soil moisture has been declining since early November and forecast for the next 1-2 weeks looks like the situation will deteriorate with hotter temperatures and scant rainfall.

According to data from the Soybean Producers Association of Rio Grande do Sul (Aprosoja/RS), farmers in the state have planted 92% of their 2021/22 soybeans, but if the dry forecast verifies, there could be problems with germination and a percentage of the crop may have to be replanted once there is adequate soil moisture.

There is the potential for lower soybean yields in the state, but agronomists indicate that it is too early in the growing season to calculate actual losses. The soybeans will not enter their critical reproductive stage until sometime in January. If the weather during January remains dryer-than-normal, then the soybean yields will be significantly impacted. If the rains return in January and the weather stays wet into February, the soybean crop in Rio Grande do Sul could still be normal. Farmers in the state planted approximately 15% of Brazil's 2021/22 soybean acreage.

Mato Grosso do Sul - In the municipality of Amambai in southwestern Mato Grosso do Sul along the border with Paraguay, farmers are hoping for additional moisture before the soybeans start losing some of their yield potential. The soybeans were planted early this year and the conditions during October were beneficial. The rainfall started to decline in November and now the forecast looks worrisome. If they received significant rainfall within the next ten days, they still expect soybean yields in the range of 55 to 60 sacks per hectare (49 to 53.6 bu/ac).