Jan 20, 2022

Some Farmers in Rio Grande do Sul Facing Extreme Crop Losses

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

Crops in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul continue to be impacted by extremely hot and dry conditions. In the municipality of Ijui in northern Rio Grande do Sul, farmers are facing a very difficult situation with their 2021/22 corn and soybean crops. Extreme temperatures and a historic drought have some producers facing crop losses bordering on 100%.

According to the president of the Rural Union of Ijui/RS, the region is suffering the second worst drought in history, surpassed only by the drought of 1945. For weeks, temperatures have been extremely high in the range of 40°C (104°F) or higher and rainfall has been minimal. The rain that does fall quickly evaporates under the extreme temperatures.

The summer growing season for corn is ending abruptly especially for the dryland corn which is almost a complete loss because the adverse conditions hit as the crop was pollinating and starting to fill grain. The soybeans are currently flowering and setting pods, but they may suffer the same fate as corn if significant rains are not received soon.

These extreme temperatures are also impacting dairy and poultry producers in the region as they try to keep their animals cooled.

The president of the Rural Union is recommending that producers become proactive and contact the grain companies where they forward contracted some of their anticipated production to start the renegotiation process. He is also recommending that they also contact their banks and input suppliers to start negotiating extended repayment terms because their grain production will probably not generate enough revenue to pay back their loans.