Oct 19, 2023

Excessive Heat Once Again Impacting Central Brazil

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

As farmers in Brazil plant their 2023/24 soybeans, excessive heat is once again impacting regions of central Brazil. The Brazilian National Weather Service (Inmet) is forecasting temperatures 5°C above normal until at least the coming weekend in the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goias and parts of Tocantins.

Weather models disagree on how high the temperatures may go with some indicating 40°C (104°F) and others as high as 46°C (115°F). Regardless of how high the temperatures end up; this is not good news for the recently planted soybeans. With high air temperatures and strong sunlight, the soil temperatures can reach levels that can kill ungerminated seed or newly emerged soybeans.

The heat and lack of moisture can result in soybean seedlings dying, forcing farmers to replant. This is of particular importance this year with lower soybean prices and the high cost of production.

Rainfall thus far this growing season in central Brazil has been erratic and a dry air mass is currently impeding moisture from entering the region. Meteorologists are forecasting a better chance of rainfall starting the last week of October.

If soybeans need to be replanted at the end of October or early November, it will make it very difficult to plant a second crop of corn after the soybeans are harvested. The ideal planting window for safrinha corn in central Brazil closes about the third week of February and corn planted after that date is at risk of lower yields.

Planting safrinha corn later than desired could be extra risky this year because El Nino can result in an early end to the summer rainy season resulting in the safrinha corn running out of moisture well before the crop is mature.