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March 12, 2020

Emater Lowers Soybean Production in Rio Grande do Sul by 32%

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

Hot and dry weather continues to afflict the crops in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. After weeks of dry weather, the temperatures across the state this week are forecasted to be some of the highest of the season ranging from the upper 90's to low 100's.

As a result, estimates of the soybean and corn production in the state continue to decline. For the second time this month, the Emater extension service in the state of Rio Grande do Sul has reduced their estimate of the 2019/20 soybean production in the state. In their latest assessment, they are now estimating the crop at 13.3 million tons, which is a 32% decline compared to the 19.7 million tons they estimated at the start of the growing season. Earlier in the month, they reduced their estimate by 3 million tons and this week they reduced it another 3 million tons.

The soybean crop in Rio Grande do Sul stands in stark contrast to the soybeans in northern Brazil where yields are expected to be record high. Earlier this week, Conab estimated the Brazilian soybean crop at 124.2 million tons, which was an increase of 1.0 million tons from their February estimate and if verified, would be a record high production for Brazil. Conab's March estimate included 16.9 million tons of soybean production in Rio Grande do Sul.

The forecast for the state is only calling for modest rains over the next few weeks and probably not enough to overcome the current moisture deficits. The soybeans in the state are only 2% harvested which means that the majority of the soybeans are still in the critical pod filling phase. A spokesperson for Emater indicated that it is possible that their soybean estimate for the state could be reduced further in subsequent reports.