May 03, 2024

Weather Extremes Impacting Southern Brazil

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

Extreme weather continues to impact residents and farmers in central and southern Brazil. The southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul has received record rainfall over the past few days with over 130 cities experiencing flooding with 13 deaths and 21 people reported missing. The governor of the state has declared a state of emergency.

The biggest impact thus far has been in central and eastern areas of the state with cities flooded, roadways and bridges impacted and crops inundated. The rainfall amounts are expected to decline over the weekend as the storms move north into the neighboring state of Santa Catarina.

In the first two days of May, many cities have already recorded more rainfall than during a normal month of May. In the city of Santa Maria in central Rio Grande do Sul, the city recorded 400 mm of rainfall (16 inches) over the last few days or 170% of the normal May rainfall. The city of Caxias do Sul has received 139% of normal, Passo Fundo 76%, Porto Alegre 76%, and Cruz Alta 55%.

Farmers in the state are also being impacted. As of late last week, the soybean crop in the state was 66% harvested and the heavy rains now put the remaining crop at risk of lower yields and poor seed quality. The rice harvest in the state was already behind schedule before the wet weather moved in and it will now be delayed even further. The corn crop in the state is in a similar situation.

While far southern Brazil is extremely wet, states in south-central Brazil are experiencing hot and dry weather. Temperatures are at least 5°C above normal in states such as Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goias, and Minas Gerais. In Mato Grosso do Sul and northwestern Parana, temperatures are expected to be in the range of 34°C to 38°C (94°F to 101°F). The hot and dry weather has been in place in south-central Brazil for 2-3weeks and these conditions are expected to persist for another two weeks or longer.

The hot and dry conditions are impacting the safrinha corn in south-central Brazil. The corn is pollinating and filling grain and it has already been dry for at least two weeks with more dry weather in the forecast. These adverse conditions are expected to result in reduced safrinha corn yields. The safrinha corn accounts for over 75% of Brazil's total corn production.