Dec 30, 2021

Drought Impacting Crops in Paraguay, Little Relief in Sight

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

Paraguay is the third largest soybean producer in South America and the soybeans in the state have been negatively impacted by hot and dry weather over the last several months. These same conditions have afflicted the crops in southern Brazil and much of Argentina. Unfortunately, the near-term forecast is not calling for any significant rain in Paraguay.

The hot and dry conditions are being attributed to La Nina with the worst conditions in southeastern Paraguay, which is the main grain producing region of the country. The sun is at its highest point this time of the year and the intense sunlight coupled with high temperatures (40°C or 104°F) and low relative humidity, have accelerated soil moisture losses.

There are even reports of fires invading and destroying soybean fields in eastern Paraguay.

The early maturing soybeans are being impacted the most because the crop is now in the final stages of filling pods. In the driest areas, yields of the early maturing soybeans are expected to be in the range of 500 to 1,200 kg/ha (7.5 to 18 bu/ac). Medium and later maturity soybeans are also being impacted, but yield losses at this point are still uncertain. The seed quality is also expected to be poor due to the droughty conditions.

Corn production in southeastern Paraguay is also expected to be severely impacted because the hot and dry conditions are occurring as the corn is in the critical grain filling phase. The early corn harvest is expected to start in mid-January and the initial yields are expected to be very disappointing.