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September 4, 2013

September in Brazil Expected to be Hotter and Dryer than Normal

As the calendar turns to September, the first rains of the new growing season are expected to start falling in central Brazil sometime this month. During the last several months, the cold fronts have brought ample rainfall and cold temperatures to southern Brazil, but they have not been able to bring any meaningful precipitation to the central or northeastern part of the country.

As a result, the states of Mato Grosso, Goias, and Tocantins have not received any rains for at least 100 days. The driest region in all of Brazil is western Bahia where there has not been a drop of rain for at least 150 days. The lack of rainfall in central Brazil during this time of the year is normal and it remains to be seen when the summer rains start to return to the region.

In the center-west region of Brazil where the first soybeans are generally planted, the month of September is expected to be hotter than normal and dryer than normal. September is a very hot month in central Brazil with temperatures easily surpassing 100 degrees. Farmers will not risk planting their soybeans until they have received enough rainfall to insure adequate germination and stand establishment. The spring planting season is expected to be wetter than normal only in the two southern most states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina.

At this point, there is no rain forecasted for central Brazil before September 15th, which is the end of the 90-day soybean free period and when farmers can start planting their 2013/14 soybean crop. The date of planting is not all that important as far as soybean yields are concerned in Brazil. The growing season is very long so early planted soybeans and late planted soybeans generally have the same yield potential if the weather cooperates during the growing season.

As we have mentioned many time in the past, farmers in central Brazil want to plant their soybeans as early as possible to allow enough time for a second crop of safrinha corn after the soybeans are harvested. Early planting of the safrinha corn is essential in order to allow enough time for the corn to complete grain filling before the onset of the next dry season.

A delay in planting soybeans in central Brazil would also mean a delay in the start of soybean exports from Brazil early next year. If the soybean planting doesn't get under way until mid-October, then the soybean exports from Brazil wouldn't get started until about the end of February at the earliest.