Dec 22, 2022

Dry Conditions Slow Soybean Planting in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

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

Dry weather in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul is negatively impacting the soybean planting and development in the state. This is especially true in the municipality of Sao Borja located in the southwestern part of the state.

According to an agronomist for the Rural Union of Sao Borja, dry conditions have slowed the completion of the soybean planting. At this point, the soybean planting should have already been completed, but the 2022/23 crop is only 80% planted. Farmers are waiting for additional moisture before they plant the remainder of their soybeans. Rio Grande do Sul is always one of the last states in Brazil to plant soybeans. The forecast is calling for the possibility of rain on December 27 and 28.

If the forecasted rains materialize and if the weather continues beneficial for the remainder of the growing season, average soybean yields in the municipality could be 47-48 sacks per hectare (42-43 bu/ac) compared to the normal yield of 52 sacks per hectare (46.4 bu/ac). If the forecasted rains do not materialize, the yields could approach those of last year when farmers harvested 8 to 12 sacks per hectare (7 to 10.7 bu/ac).

The soybeans in the region are generally in vegetative development, but the earliest maturing soybeans are starting to flower earlier than normal due to the hot and dry conditions. At the start of the growing season, Rio Grande do Sul was forecasted to produce approximately 15% of Brazil's total 2022/23 soybean production.

Farmers have forward contracted 20-30% of their anticipated soybean production at prices in the range of R$ 170 to R$ 180 per sack (approximately $14.60 to $15.40 per bushel). Soybean producers could turn a profit at these prices if their soybeans yields are in the range of 42 to 45 sacks per hectare or higher (37.5 to 40.2 bu/ac).