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April 2, 2020

Soybean Yields in Rio Grande do Sul down at Least 40%

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

The crops in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in far southern Brazil continues to suffer from one of the worst droughts in recent memory. The state did receive a few light and scattered showers in recent days, but they were woefully inadequate to change the overall dry situation.

The month of March ended up being the driest month of the summer in the state and the hot and dry conditions hit the soybeans during their critical pod filling phase. The result has been at least a 40% reduction in soybean yields across the state, which is the worst ever recorded according to the Soybean and Corn Producers Association (Aprosoja).

Initial estimates had the state producing approximately 19.5 million tons of soybeans, but many recent estimates have the production in the range of 9-10 million tons. The central and southern areas of the state were hardest hit and the drought has impacted not just grain producers but also cattle ranchers, dairy producers, fruit producers, vegetable producers, etc.

Rio Grande do Sul is general the second or third largest soybean producing state in Brazil responsible for approximately 16% of Brazil's soybean production. In some years it trails Mato Grosso and Parana in soybean production and in some years it surpasses the state of Parana by a slim margin.

Over the past three months, the state has received in the range of 250 to 300 mm of rainfall (10 to 12 inches) compared to regions of central Brazil that have received 900 mm of rainfall (36 inches). Unfortunately, the forecast for the state continues to be generally dry until mid-April.