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September 17, 2020

La Nina could Impact Planting and Crop Development in S. America

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

Most weather models are now pointing toward a moderate La Nina developing by October and persisting into maybe early 2021. This could be especially important for farmers in South America because it would coincide with planting and crop development.

La Nina is generally associated with dryer than normal weather in Argentina and southern Brazil. There is not much correlation between La Nina and the weather in central and northern Brazil. In fact, in northern Brazil there is a tendency for above normal rainfall during a La Nina.

Currently it is very dry in northern Argentina where there has been very little rainfall for about the last five months. Parts of southern Brazil, especially the states of Parana, Sao Paulo, and Minas Gerais are currently very dry as well with not much rain in the forecast.

If the growing season turns out dryer than normal in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, it would be very bad news indeed. During the 2019/20 growing season, the state suffered a very severe drought and farmers in the state can ill afford two drought years in a row.

In many areas of Brazil farmers are now allowed to start planting their 2020/21 soybeans, but current dryness have kept early planting to a minimum. Brazilian farmers would like to receive at least two inches of precipitation before they plant soybeans in order to insure there is enough soil moisture for germination and stand establishment. If farmers plant too early, there is a real possibility that they may have to replant their soybeans if additional rains are delayed.

In Argentina, a small amount of the early corn has been planted, but farmers will not start planting soybeans until sometime in mid-October.