Dec 30, 2021

Constant Rain and Overcast Skies Worry Soybean Farmers in Brazil

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

Heavy rains and overcast skies are a growing concern for soybean producers in central and northeastern Brail. The weather thus far this growing season in Brazil has been a tale of two extremes - extremely dry in southern Brazil and extremely wet and rainy in central and northern Brazil.

Mato Grosso is the largest soybean producing state in Brazil and farmers in the state have been complaining for weeks about the constant wet conditions and lack of sunshine. They are worried about increased disease pressures because they have not been able to apply needed fungicides.

There are already reports out of Mato Grosso of soybean seeds molding inside the pods and sprouting in the pods. If the wet conditions persist for another 1-2 weeks, the situation will get worse as more soybeans approach maturity. The initial soybean harvest in the state should begin by the end of the week, but the harvest pace will not pick up until January 5 to 10, if the weather cooperates.

In the western part of the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil, the skies have been cloudy and overcast with practically no direct sunlight for over 50 straight days according to Cicero Jose Teixeira, president of the Rural Union of Luis Eduardo Magalhaes/BA. Farmers are concerned that the lack of sunshine has already trimmed their soybean yields and the situation could get worse.

In the municipality of Luis Eduardo Magalhaes in western Bahia, the growing season started off with high hopes. The summer rains arrived early, the soybeans were planted early and farmers were hoping for one of their best crops in years. The problem is that the rains never stopped.

They are now worried that disease and insect pressures will build, but they cannot get in the fields to apply needed controls. The soybeans in Bahia are not as advanced as in Mato Grosso, so the soybeans are not approaching maturity, but some early soybean harvesting is expected to start by the end of January, if the weather permits.

As an illustration of just how wet it has been in southern Bahia, days and weeks of torrential rains have resulted in burst dams, widespread flooding, destroyed roads and bridges, and thousands of people flooded out of their homes. Local authorities are monitoring 10 additional dams in fear that they may fail and the governor has declared this the worst natural disaster in the state's history.