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January 3, 2020

2020 Starts off with Dryness Concerns in Parts of South America

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

The weather starting off 2020 in South America is a bit of a mixed bag. In many areas of central Brazil, the weather has been good, but that is not the case in northeastern Brazil and in far southern Brazil where dry weather is an ongoing concern.

In Brazil's two largest soybean producing states of Mato Grosso and Parana, the weather has generally been beneficial and farmers are expecting average to better than average soybean yields. Some early soybean harvesting has started in parts of Mato Grosso where farmers planted 95-day maturity soybeans. The soybean harvest in Mato Grosso will ramp up during the second half of January.

Northeastern Brazil did receive some rain over the past week, but it was not enough to fully recharge the soil moisture. Some farmers in the region had suspended soybean planting while they waited for additional moisture. Normally, December 31st is the last day to plant soybeans in western Bahia and still be covered by crop insurance, but due to the dryness, the last day to plant soybeans in western Bahia has been extended to January 20th. The majority of soybeans in the region are in vegetative development or have started to flower.

Dryness is also a concern in many areas of Rio Grande do Sul in far southern Brazil. Some areas of the state has been basically dry during the entire month of December. The full-season corn in Rio Grande do Sul has been the most impacted by the dry weather because it has been pollinating and filling grain during the dry weather. The soybeans in the state are mostly in vegetative development with some fields starting to flower.

There are also pockets of dryness in the states of Goias and Mato Grosso do Sul.

The weather in Argentina has improved over the last several weeks, but it is still dryer than normal in parts of southern Argentina. The driest areas of Argentina are probably southwest Buenos Aires province and La Pampa province.

In Argentina the soybeans are 84% planted, which represents an advance of 5.3% for the week, but it is still 5% behind last year's planting pace. In the core production areas, the soybeans are essentially all planted. In southern Argentina, the soybeans are 60-80% planted with 25-45% planted in far northern Argentina. The most advanced soybeans are flowering and setting pods.

The corn in Argentina is 83.5% planted, which represents an advance of 8.4% for the week. The planting pace this year is about the same as last year. The most advanced corn is filling grain and approaching maturity.