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January 4, 2019

Dry Weather Impacting Soy in W. Parana and S. Mato Grosso do Sul

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

The soybean crops in western Parana and southern Mato Grosso do Sul were the most impacted by the hot and dry weather during December in much of southern Brazil. Some rainfall has returned to the area, but the amounts have been below normal and the distribution has been irregular. Some unfortunate areas even missed the most recent rains.

In the municipality of Cascavel, which is located in western Parana, many producers went 30-40 days without rain at a critical time when the early maturing soybeans were filling pods. The temperatures at the time were very hot and the solar radiation was intense.

A few fields have been harvested with disappointing results and many farmers fear that their soybean yields will be down 30-35% compared to what they had anticipated for their 2018/19 soybean crop. If the area receives rain going forward, it could stop the downward decline in yields, but it would be too late for any recovery of the early maturing soybeans. The later maturing soybeans could still be helped by additional rainfall.

One of the problems in Parana is the fact that a lot of the soybeans were planted in a very narrow window as soon as they were allowed to start plating on September 10th. The summer rains started early and there was good soil moisture, so everyone started planting at the same time. The narrow window for planting resulted in much of the crop reaching the critical pod filling period also in a narrow window. Unfortunately, the hot and dry weather hit the early maturing soybeans just at the wrong time.

The situation is very similar across the border in southern Mato Grosso do Sul where the Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Mato Grosso do Sul (Aprosoja/MS) recently lowered their estimate for the 2018/19 soybean crop in the state to 8.9 million down which was down 11% from their previous estimate of 10 million tons.

Rainfall has been very irregular in the state with one farm receiving some rain while 10 miles down the road, it has not rained for 40 days. Some farmers in southern Mato Grosso do Sul are expecting to harvest 30 sacks per hectare (26.6 bu/ac), while other more fortunate producers are expecting to harvest 60 sacks per hectare (53.2 bu/ac).

The early maturing soybeans in the southern part of the state will be the most impacted, but there could also be lower yields in the northern regions of the state as well.

Many Brazilian farmers in the hardest hit areas are afraid that they will lose money on their 2018/19 soybean crop due to higher costs, lower yields and prices that are not high enough to cover their costs.