Jan 11, 2022

Familiar Weather Pattern in Brazil - Hot and Dry South, Wet North

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

Rainfall over the weekend in Brazil followed a familiar pattern, wet in the northern growing regions and generally dry in the southern growing regions. Dry weather will continue to stress the crops in southern Brazil this week especially in Rio Grande do Sul where temperatures will be elevated. Wetter weather is finally expected in southern Brazil next week.

It is going to be a very hot week in southern Brazil with the possibility of widespread temperatures of 40°C (104°F) or higher. There is the possibility of record high temperatures in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The temperatures in Parana, Santa Catarina, and Mato Grosso do Sul may not reach record levels, but it's going to be a very hot week.

The 2021/22 soybean harvest was 0.2% late last week according to the consulting firm Patria AgroNegocios. Last year, no soybeans were harvested by this date and the average is 0.37%. Wet weather is keeping many farmers in Mato Grosso out of the field.

Mato Grosso - The soybeans in the state were 0.6% harvested late last week compared to 0% last year and 0.75% average. In 2020, the soybeans were 1.8% harvested. Harvest activity will remain limited until they have some dryer weather which is forecasted for later this week.

Early yields in Mato Grosso are good, but it is probably too early to say for sure what the final yields will be. Some farmers have indicated that the yields are less than what they had anticipated and they blame the overcast conditions and the lack of sunshine.

Parana - Parana has been the state most impacted by the hot and dry conditions because it hit the soybeans as they were setting and filling pods. The soybeans in Parana were 0.1% harvested late last week compared to 0.67% average.

In the municipality of Pato Branco in southwestern Parana, it is estimated that only 5% of the soybeans received timely rains of 90 mm (3.6 inches) during the months of November and December. Those soybeans are developing normally, but the other 95% of the crop is going to have very disappointing yields.

The president of the Rural Union of Pato Branco/PR indicated that some of the drought impacted soybeans matured 20 days earlier than anticipated. Yields of the early soybeans are in the range of 6 to 25 sacks per hectare (5 to 22 bu/ac). In some of the worst fields, the soybeans were just mowed down so they could start planting their safrinha corn.

Members of the Coopavel cooperative in Parana are reporting early soybean yields in the range of 20-30 sacks per hectare (18 to 27 bu/ac) vs. 65 sacks (58 bu.) that was expected at the start of the growing season.

Deral Lowers Parana Soybean Production - At the start of the growing season, the Department of Rural Economics in the state of Parana (Deral) in southern Brazil estimated that the state would produce 21 million tons of soybeans in 2021/22, but that has now been reduced to 13 million tons with the possibility of further reductions according to the head of Deral. Hot and dry conditions especially in western Parana during November and December impacted the crop as it was filling pods.

Deral is now rating the 2021/22 soybean crop in Parana as 31% poor, 39% average, and 30% good. The soybeans were 13% in vegetative development, 3% flowering, 49% filling pods, and 7% mature as of earlier last week.

Rio Grande do Sul - Technicians from Emater feel it is too early to estimate soybean losses due to the heat and drought that Emater describes as the worst since 2004/05. The greatest risk for the soybeans is from mid-January through February when the soybeans will be setting and filling pods.

A report from the Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives of Rio Grande do Sul (FecoAgro/RS) estimated that the soybeans in the state were 93% planted and that the soybean yields will be down 24%. The losses for both the corn and the soybeans are irreversible and the light showers that fell in the state this week were not sufficient to reverse the overall downward trend.

Farmer organizations are petitioning the local and state officials to declare a state of emergency so they can qualify for federal aid. During the 2020/21 growing season, producers in 200 municipalities missed out on federal aid because the municipality had not declared a state of emergency.

Mato Grosso do Sul - The Brazilian National Water Agency (ANA) estimates that all the municipalities in Mato Grosso do Sul have received 40 to 50% less rainfall this growing season compared to normal. The driest part of the state is the southern half which produces about 65% of the state's soybeans. Last week, the governor of Mato Grosso do Sul declared a state of emergency in 79 municipalities mainly in the southern part of the state.

It is estimated that 60% of the soybeans in southern Mato Grosso do Sul are going to have low yields, how low depends on the location. The other 40% of the soybeans in southern Mato Grosso do Sul could still achieve yields of 45 to 50 sacks per hectare (40 to 45 bu/ac) if they received significant rain immediately.