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December 20, 2018

Soybean Crop in Southern Brazil Impacted by Hot and Dry Weather

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

Recent hot and dry conditions in southern Brazil has put at risk the soybean crops especially in Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul. Parana is the second largest soybean producing state in Brazil and Mato Grosso to Sul is the fifth largest producer. In both states, the soybean yields statewide could be down as much as 10% with loses as high as 20% or more in the hardest hit areas.

The dry weather came at a very bad time for early planted or early maturing soybeans that were filling pods just as the dry weather hit. Even if timely rains would return, the early maturing soybeans are too far along in their development for any meaningful recovery. The later maturing soybeans could recuperate somewhat with good rains going forward.

In their monthly report released on Wednesday, December 19th, the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) lower their estimate for the 2018/19 soybean crop in Parana by 500,000 tons to 19.1 million tons due to the dry conditions. A few fields of early maturing soybeans have been harvested in Parana with disappointing yields, but the sample size is very small.

In neighboring Mato Grosso do Sul the situation is similar in the southern part of the state. In the city of Dourados, the last substantial rainfall was November 29th. These dry days have been accompanied by high temperatures and intense solar radiation. The earlier planted soybeans in the region are setting pods and filling pods which is when the water demand is the highest.

Mato Grosso is the largest soybean producing state in Brazil and the early soybean harvest started in the state earlier this week. The first soybeans harvested are 90-day maturity soybeans that were planted on September 15th at the end of the soybean-free period. Early soybean yields appear to be acceptable in the range of 52 to 53 sacks per hectare (46 to 47 bu/ac). There have been some dry spots in Mato Grosso, but the rainfall has not been as sparse as further south in Brazil.