Nov 22, 2022

Irregular Rains and Dry Pockets Worry Farmers in Mato Grosso

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

Over the last several weeks, a dryer weather pattern has persisted in regions of central Brazil. The rains that fell last week were irregular leaving many dry pockets. In Mato Grosso for example, in the municipalities of Diamantino and Campo Novo do Parecis in central and west-central Mato Grosso, many areas have been dry for 15 days or longer with the driest areas being dry for over 25 days.

The region was dryer than normal last growing season and they only received enough rainfall to get the soybeans planted and emerged, so there is not much subsoil moisture reserves. After colder-than-normal temperatures in early November, the temperatures have now increased significantly to the upper 90's °F.

Soybeans that were planted in mid-September are in their critical reproductive phase of flowering, setting pods, and filling pods and the earliest soybeans will be mature in about five weeks. The president of Aprosoja-MT has indicated that the soybean development has been suboptimal and that there is the potential for below average yields in the dry areas. Estimates are that approximately 20-30% of the soybeans in Mato Grosso need rain. The forecast is calling for chances of rain this week, but the amounts and coverage will be important.

The dryer pattern is also a concern in northern Mato Grosso do Sul, southern Goias, and Minas Gerais as well. If central Brazil receives good widespread rains this week, then there was probably not much harm done by the short dry period. Rainfall is expected to be more widespread across Brazil this week, although the heaviest rains should favor northern growing areas.

During years when La Nina has the potential to negatively impact the soybean production in southern Brazil, Mato Grosso and the other states in central Brazil tend to make up some of the deficits in southern Brazil. It is too early to say if that will happen this growing season.