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February 3, 2011

Southern Rio Grande do Sul Impacted by Dry Weather

In general, the soybean crop across the majority of Brazil is in good condition with the one exception being in far southern Rio Grande do Sul. The southern half of that state continues to be plagued by persistent dry weather that started last October.

Fifteen municipalities in the southern part of the state have already declared emergencies due to lost agricultural production. The mayor of the city of Rio Grande in the southeastern region of the state estimates that milk production is down 30%, vegetable production is down 30-60%, beef production is off 30-40%, and soybean production will be down 20%. The southern half of the state is mainly cattle ranching and ranchers are reporting the cattle fertility rates are significantly lower this year as well.

Recent rainfall in the region has not been enough to relieve the dry conditions.

Fortunately for the soybean producers in the rest of Brazil, this has been a relatively good growing season in spite of the delayed start. The Agricultural Confederation of Brazil is estimating the early maturing soybeans in Mato Grosso are yielding 55 to 56 sacks per hectare (3,300 to 3,360 kg/ha or 48 to 49 bu/ac), which is very good for early maturing soybeans.