August 8, 2013

More Cold Temperatures Forecasted for Southern Brazil

The wheat, coffee, and sugarcane crops in southern Brazil were negatively impacted by a series of severe frosts during the last week of July and now meteorologists in Brazil are predicting another chance of frost this coming weekend. The freezing temperatures two weeks ago were some of the lowest temperatures in Brazil since the year 2000. The temperatures predicted for next weekend are not expected to be as cold with the lowest temperatures at the highest elevations. Even if the next frost it is not as severe as the last one, it could still cause some additional damage to the crops in southern Brazil.

Looking forward, the early planting of the 2013/14 full-season corn could get under way in Brazil as soon as the temperatures warm up in southern Brazil or rainfall occurs in central and eastern Brazil. The temperatures are not expected to warm up in southern Brazil until the second half of August and there is no rainfall in the forecast for central Brazil. If the early corn planting is delayed in southern Brazil, farmers may opt to plant additional soybeans instead of planting their corn later than normal.

The meteorological consulting firm Somar Meteorologia is forecasting a neutral condition in the eastern Pacific Ocean until the end of 2013 - not an El Nino (warmer than normal) and not a La Nina (colder than normal). The water temperatures in recent months have been slightly cooler than normal in what is called a negative-neutral position, but they have not been cool enough to be classified as a La Nina.

Crop yields in southern Brazil can be greatly impacted by these two weather conditions. Generally an El Nino results in abundant rainfall in southern Brazil and a La Nina results in dryer than normal conditions in southern Brazil. Data compiled Conab and the National Space Institute of Brazil indicate that over the last ten years the best corn and soybean yields in the state of Parana occur during years when there is an El Nino and the lowest yields occur during years when there is a La Nina. During periods of neutrality such as now, yields tend to be slightly above trend line.

With a negative-neutral position, meteorologists from the National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet) are forecasting a wide range of weather conditions in Brazil for the 2013/14 growing season. They feel there will be prolonged periods of little or no precipitation punctuated by short periods of intense rainfall. For most of southern Brazil, Inmet is forecasting a good distribution of rainfall during October when the main spring planting gets underway.