Nov 07, 2022

Record Cold Temps Slow Soy Germination in Southern Brazil

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

Temperatures last week in southern Brazil were significantly below normal with record lows recorded in many areas. Frosts were also recorded especially at the higher elevations of southern Brazil and across much of Argentina.

The cold temperatures are being attributed to La Nina which is impacting southern Brazil and Argentina for the third year in a row. La Nina usually results in below normal precipitation in southern Brazil and Argentina during the October-November-December period. The last two years of La Nina conditions have resulted in very disappointing soybean and corn yields in southern Brazil.

Brazilian farmers are concerned that the cold temperatures will slow soybean germination especially in the state of Rio Grande do Sul where the 2022/23 soybeans are 7-9% planted and the planting pace will only accelerate after the wheat is harvested. Unfortunately, the wheat harvest in the state has been slowed as well by the cold temperatures. Currently, the wheat in Rio Grande do Sul is 12% harvested compared to 50% last year and 62% average. The states of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul are usually in second or third place in soybean production in Brazil behind Mato Grosso.

Cold temperatures have also impacted the spring planting in Argentina as well. The cold and dry conditions have allowed farmers in Argentina to plant only 23% of their intended corn acreage and very few of their soybeans. Low soil moisture continues to be a major concern for farmers in Argentina.

Soybean germination and emergence can be impacted by low soil temperatures at the time of planting. Temperatures of 10°C or less (50°F) stops the germination process and can result in variable plant stands. The ideal soil temperature for uniform germination and emergence is 25°C (77°F).