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September 24, 2015

El Nino could Impact Spring Weather in Brazil

Spring officially began in Brazil earlier this week and Brazilian meteorologists continue to warn that El Nino could have a significant impact on the spring planting weather in Brazil. This is a very strong El Nino and meteorologists are predicting that Brazil in general will experience hotter than normal temperatures over the next three months.

As far as rainfall is concerned, El Nino generally results in heavier than normal rainfall in the southern states of Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul and somewhat heavier than normal rainfall in the states of Sao Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul. El Nino generally results in dryer than normal conditions in the state of Minas Gerais, and in northeastern and northern Brazil. The anticipated impact in the center-west region of Brazil is more uncertain although most meteorologists are forecasting that the rainfall in the center-west region will be poorly distributed with hotter than normal temperatures.

The crop that could be impacted immediately is the winter wheat in southern Brazil that is currently maturing and being harvested. The wheat crop in Rio Grande do Sul has already been adversely impacted by a late season frost and severe storms accompanied by large hail. Continued rains as the harvest progresses could result in additional damage to the crop including lower yields and poor seed quality.

The full-season corn in southern Brazil is the first crop planted and early planting progress has been somewhat limited by wet weather. Soybean planting started on September 15th with the end of the soybean-free period but early soybean planting has been limited in central Brazil due to dry soils. Most of the early soybeans have been planted in the state of Parana.