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October 18, 2019

Dry Start to 2019/20 Soy Planting Worries Farmers in Parana, Brazil

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

It has not been a very promising start to the 2019/20 soybean planting in the state of Parana in southern Brazil. Parana is Brazil's second largest soybean producing state, but hot and dry weather with inconsistent rains will result in a significant portion of the soybeans in the state having to be replanted due to poor germination.

Over the last two months, rainfall has been most scarce in western and northern Parana, which are also the main soybean producing regions of the state. Farmers in the state were allowed to start planting soybeans on September 11th, but inconsistent rains kept farmers from rushing out to plant their soybeans.

According to meteorologists from SIMEPAR (Meteorological System of Parana), the rainfall has been inconsistent in September and October due to lack of moisture migrating southward from the Brazilian Amazon Region. This lack of atmospheric moisture has also impacted the neighboring states of Matos Grosso do Sul and Sao Paulo.

For example, in the city of Marechal Candido Rondon, which is located in western Parana, the last rain of more than 10 mm (0.4 inches) occurred on August 31st. In the meantime, temperatures have been very hot resulting in a rapid depletion of the already short soil moisture.

In the city of Guaira, which is located in far northwestern Parana, 50% of the soybeans were planted in early September, but now a significant portion of the soybeans will have to be replanted when adequate soil moisture returns.

In the city of Palotina, also located in western Parana, 65-70% of the soybeans have been planted, but at least 20% of the soybeans will need to be replanted due to poor germination. Last weekend, the soil temperature in the region reached 47°C (117°F) and the relative humidity was down to 20%.

In the city of Cascavel in western Parana, the soybeans are 65% planted, but at least 20% of those soybeans will need to be replanted when the rains return. It's not just farmers concerned about the dry weather, there are reports that ranchers are hauling water for their cattle because their local farm pounds have dried out.

Generally, the rainfall in Parana over the past three months has been much below normal for western and northern regions of the state, as well as for the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Sao Paulo, and Minas Gerais. Only the far southern state of Rio Grande do Sul has seen adequate rainfall over the past three months.

Coming out of the annual dry season (May to September), Brazilian farmers generally like to receive 2-3 inches of precipitation before that start planting their soybeans.