Back
November 6, 2012

Lack of El Nino Reduces Chances of Record Soybean Crop in Brazil

Before farmers in Brazil started to plant their 2012/13 crops, they were very hopeful that a developing El Nino would result in good growing conditions and high yields this growing season. Unfortunately, it hasn'NLot work out that way and instead of an El Nino, the water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are basically neutral and not either an El Nino (warmer than normal water temperatures) or a La Nina (colder than normal water temperatures).

As a result, the start of the rainy season in Brazil has generally been disappointing. During the month of October, the rainfall in central Brazil, northeastern Brazil, and southeastern Brazil was below normal and poorly distributed. This resulted in a slower planting pace than normal in central Brazil. In Parana, the rainfall during the month ended up being about normal, but in Rio Grande do Sul, the October rainfall ended up being much above normal for the month.

Temperatures during October were generally above normal across much of Brazil and they were especially hot at the end of the month. Many areas in Brazil record high temperatures were set during the second half of October.

As a result of the below normal rainfall during October, some soybean fields in Mato Grosso will need to be replanted due to poor germination. Soybeans that were planted during the second half of September only received enough rainfall for partial germination and some of the germinated soybeans died from the hot and dry conditions that prevailed during October. Estimates are that 5% of the soybeans in Mato Grosso may have to be replanted once the rainfall improves.

Most of these replanted soybean fields were scheduled to be followed by a second crop of corn or cotton after the soybeans were harvested. If the soybeans are replanted during the month of November, it will be too late to plant a second crop of corn early next year. Instead of corn or cotton, some of these fields may be planted to grain sorghum or sunflowers after the soybeans are harvested.

The forecast for the month of November is for the rainfall to be closer to normal across much of central Brazil. If that turns out to be the case, the soybeans in the region could still have a normal yield if the weather during the remainder of the growing season cooperates. If the rainfall during the remainder of the growing season ends up being below average, then these later planted soybeans would probably end up with a below average yield.