Jan 26, 2023

Crop Yields in Rio Grande do Sul Impacted by Dry Conditions

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

Farmers in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul are suffering through their third growing season influenced by La Nina. Dryer-than-normal weather has been particularly harmful for the corn crop in the state.

In the municipality of Tupancireta in north-central Rio Grande do Sul, normal rainfall during the growing season should be about 200 mm per month (8 inches), but this year they received 76 mm in September (3 inches), 110 mm in October (4.4 inches), very little in November, 36 mm in December (1.4 inches), and very little thus far in January. The municipality was the first in the state to declare a state of emergency in December due to the drought.

Dryland corn production in the municipality is nearly a complete loss and farmers with irrigation have indicated that they have not been able to supply enough water to maintain the corn's yield potential. The Technical Network of 21 cooperatives in the state (RTC/CCGL) estimate the average corn loss statewide is 53%.

Soybean losses are not as great because they were planted later than the corn and most of the soybeans have not entered their critical reproductive period. In the municipality of Tupancireta, 30% of the soybeans needed to be replanted due to poor stands and as much as 15% of the soybeans may not get planted at all.

The Technical Network estimates that the statewide soybean yield will be down as much as 16% due to the dry conditions. Fecoagro/RS is more pessimistic and they are estimating that corn losses in the state could be as high as 80% and soybean losses as high as 40%.

Temperatures this week in Rio Grande do Sul are forecasted to be as high as 40°C (104°F) with the next chance of meaningful rainfall sometime next week.