Apr 14, 2022

Annual Dry Season Starting Earlier-Than-Normal in Central Brazil

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

It appears that the annual dry season in central Brazil may be starting earlier than normal this year. Usually, the last significant summer rains occur in early May, but many areas of central Brazil received their last significant rainfall 15-25 days ago with some areas on northern Minas Gerais already being dry for 50 days.

The crop most impacted by an early start to the dry season is the safrinha corn that was planted after the soybeans were harvested. Most of the safrinha corn in central Brazil was planted during February and it will pollinate during April and fill grain during May. Adequate soil moisture through the month of May is generally required for the safrinha corn to reach its full yield potential.

The dryer weather has allowed for higher temperatures due to a lack of cloud cover. The soil moisture in the region has declined quickly and that combined with high evapotranspiration rates, has led to developing moisture stress for the safrinha corn. The driest areas extend from the state of Sao Paulo northward into the states of Minas Gerais, Goias, Bahia, and eastern Mato Grosso.

The condition of the safrinha corn is OK for now, but there are warning signs on the horizon. The Brazilian National Weather Service (Inmet) is forecasting below normal rainfall for April-May-June for most of central Brazil.

Currently, about 33% of the safrinha corn is under some level of moisture stress and if Inmet's forecast verifies, that percentage is going to increase. The near-term forecast is calling for limited rainfall across the central safrinha corn belt with temperatures in the 90's °F.