Sep 30, 2022

Mixes Signals for Planting Weather in South America

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

As the month of September ends, there are mixed signals concerning the spring planting weather in South America. This is the third year in a row that La Nina is influencing the weather in Brazil and Argentina and the last two growing seasons were disappointing.

Brazil - Brazilian farmers started planting their soybeans earlier in September and as of last Friday, approximately 2% of the soybeans had been planted, which is a little ahead of average. The first corn crop in Brazil was 28% planted as of late last week.

Rainfall over the past week has been widespread across a majority of the soybean producing regions of Brazil. The heaviest rains fell in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Parana where isolated locations registered as much as 5 inches this week. In the state of Mato Grosso, which is the largest soybean producing state in Brazil, the soybeans were 1.8% planted late last week compared to 0.2% average.

The forecast is calling for rain during the first week of October and more widespread rains during the second week of October. If that forecast verifies, the spring planting in Brazil will get off to an OK start.

Argentina - The situation in Argentina is not as favorable as Brazil. Argentina had a dry summer, fall, and winter and the situation has not improved very much. Scattered rains fell this past week across sections of western Argentina while eastern areas remained mostly dry. The largest soil moisture deficits are in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, and Entre Rios. The moisture shortage is stressing the winter wheat and the germination of the early planted corn.

Farmers in Argentina ended up planting less wheat than anticipated due to dry conditions and some of wheat may end up being abandoned due to dry conditions.

Unfortunately, the rainfall over the next 10 days is forecasted to be below normal across most of Argentina, which will lead to further moisture deficits. The corn in Argentina is 5.8% planted compared to 16.8% last year and no soybeans have been planted. This is a slow start to corn planting and if the dry conditions persist, it is possible that farmers in Argentina may switch some of their intended corn acreage to soybeans instead.

Any switch from corn to soybeans would occur in the first phase of corn planting which starts in September and ends about the end of October. During this first phase, farmers generally plant about 40% to 45% of their corn acreage.

The second phase of corn planting starts in December and ends about mid-January and the later planted corn has recorded higher yields the last two years. If the early corn planting continues to be delayed, farmers may opt for less corn and more soybeans. If the soybean acreage increases in Argentina in 2022/23, it would be the first time in seven years.