Back
September 18, 2017

Increased Odds of La Nina could Impact South American Crops

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

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week increased the odds of a La Nina forming from 55% to 60%. It has been trending toward the formation of a La Nina for several months and if it does form, it will be during the important spring and summer growing season in South America.

A La Nina generally results in dryer than normal conditions in southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay during months of September-October-November-December, which of course are very important months for crop development in South America. The formation of a La Nina is consistent with meteorologist in Brazil who have been forecasting an uneven start to spring planting due to variable rainfall.

The potential impact of a La Nina in Brazil would probably be felt more in southern Brazil than in central Brazil. Currently, the weather in central Brazil is hot and dry with daytime temperatures in the upper 90's and low 100's. The immediate forecast is dry, but there is some rainfall in the forecast for the end of September and into early October. In southern Brazil, the state of Parana has generally been warm and dry while the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul has received rains recently.

Now that the soybean-free period has ended in most of Brazil, farmers are free to plant their 2017/18 soybean crop any time they feel the conditions are suitable. The soybean planting in Mato Grosso and Parana must be completed by December 31st. In order to help control the spread of soybean rust, a second crop of soybeans, known as the safrinha, is no longer permitted in either state.