Dec 21, 2022

Brazil Soybeans Benefit from Rain North, Hurt by Dryness Far South

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

Two different weather patterns are developing in Brazil. The weather in central and northern Brazil is improving with more rain in the forecast. In contrast, the weather in southern Brazil is turning dryer with below average rainfall in the forecast. This is a typical La Nina pattern for Brazil.

The 2022/23 Brazil soybeans were probably 96-97% planted as of late last week. Most of the soybeans left to plant are in Rio Grande do Sul where dry conditions have slowed the completion of the planting.

Mato Grosso - The early planted soybeans in the state are filling pods and some may be ready for harvest in 2-3 weeks. Rainfall was irregular during October, but it improved starting during the second half of November. The forecast is now calling for more generous rains across the state. In the previously dryer pockets, soybean yields may be somewhat disappointing.

Parana - The soybeans in Parana are 100% planted and the crop is 1% germinating, 56% in vegetative development, 35% flowering, and 8% setting pods. The crop is rated 1% poor, 9% average, and 90% good according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral).

Mato Grosso do Sul - Most of the soybeans in the state are in good condition and Aprosoja/MS rates the soybeans as 3% average and 97% good. In the northeastern region of the state, 6% of the soybeans had to be replanted and 9% were replanted in the southwestern region of the state, which borders with Paraguay. Aprosoja is estimating that 3.8 million hectares were planted in the state (9.38 million acres) and the yields will average 53 sacks per hectare (47.3 bu/ac). Rainfall declined in November and the forecast is calling for generally two inches or more of precipitation statewide between now and the end of December.

Rio Grande do Sul - The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul were 85% planted as of late last week compared to 88% last year and 92% average according to Emater. This represents an advance of 4% for the week. Dry conditions have slowed the soybean planting and there are reports of problems with germination and emergence. Rainfall during January and February will be critical for the soybeans, so it is a little too early in the growing season to say there could be a problem with soybean yields.

There is less moisture stress in the eastern part of the state, but in the central and northwestern part of the state, the moisture stress is greater and soybean development is being impaired. In the dryer areas, agronomists are advising farmers not to apply herbicides in fear of phytotoxicity and poor weed control. The forecast for this week is calling for less than a half an inch of precipitation across most of the state with a few isolated amounts of up to an inch. Temperatures are expected to be hot this week, which could add to the moisture stress.

This is the third year in a row for La Nina conditions in Rio Grande do Sul, if dryness persists, it could be another disappointing soybean crop in the state. Conab is forecasting that the state will produce 23.4 million tons of soybeans in 2022/23, which is approximately 15% of Brazil's projected soybean production.