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September 9, 2020

South America Weather and Early Planting Progress

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

Brazil Weather - In general, the weather in Brazil continues to be hot and dry in central Brazil and wet in southern Brazil with warming temperatures. The Brazilian National Weather Service (Inmet) is forecasting temperatures this week in Mato Grosso, Goias, Tocantins, and northern Mato Grosso do Sul as high as 40 degrees C or 104 degrees F with relative humidity as low as 10% to 12%.

Many cities in the center-west region of Brazil have declared health emergencies due to the high temperatures and low relative humidity during the heat of the day. To make matters even worse, the high temperatures and dry conditions have resulted in fires and the resulting smoke has worsened the air quality.

There might be a few widely scattered light showers this week in Mato Grosso with rainfall totals of less than one-third inch. Heavier rains are not expected until October. There is some rain in the forecast for Parana in southern Brazil with more rain forecasted for the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Temperatures in southern Brazil are forecasted to be in the mid-80's. The state of Parana has been receiving rain over the past few months, so there should be enough soil moisture to start planting soybeans on September 10th, which is the end of the soybean-free period.

Brazil Corn - Farmers in the southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Parana have started to plant some of their early full-season corn. In Parana, the corn is 1% planted and corn planting has also started in Rio Grande do Sul. Nationwide, Brazil has probably planted less than 1% of the full-season corn.

Brazil Soybeans - The first soybeans in Brazil will be planted later this week (September 10th) in the state of Parana. The state has been receiving rain so there should be enough soil moisture to insure germination and stand establishment. In Mato Grosso the soybean planting will start early next week (September 15th) for farmers who have irrigation. For those without irrigation, they will probably wait until they receive at least 2 inches of precipitation before they start planting.

Agronomists and meteorologists are advising farmers in Mato Grosso and in other areas of central Brazil not to plant "in the dust" because it too risky. The risk is if they plant their soybeans in dry soil and then if they only receive a light shower, it might be enough for the seed to germinate, but not for the seedlings to get established. It might take several weeks for the second rain, and during that time the seedlings will probably die, so the field would have to be replanted.

Brazil Wheat - The Department of Rural Economics for the State of Parana (Deral), estimates that 3% of the wheat in Parana has been harvested and that the frost several weeks ago will reduce the wheat production in the state by 6%. The wheat harvest will accelerate in September and October and it may not be completed until November or early December for the latest planted wheat. In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the Extension Service estimates that 10% of the anticipated wheat production in the state was lost due to the frosts several weeks ago.

The ongoing concern in the state of Parana is the potential for heavy rains during harvest which can negatively impact the quality of the wheat as well as the yields. Heavy rains at harvest is probably the number one obstacle to the production of high quality wheat in Brazil. Wheat pieces are very good in Parana in the range of R$ 60.00 per sack (approximately $5.15 per bushel).

Argentina Weather - Argentina did receive a few showers two weeks ago across mainly the central and southern agricultural areas with a few widely scattered showers across the northern regions. The northern regions are still considered to be in a drought with some of the central and southern areas registering favorable soil moisture. For example, the wheat crop has 46% favorable soil moisture, while the sunflowers have only 9% favorable soil moisture. The wheat acreage is more widespread across Argentina, while the early sunflower production is more concentrated in northern Argentina.

Argentina Corn - Farmers in the province of Entre Rios, which is located in eastern Argentina, have started planting some isolated fields of early maturing corn, but probably less than 1% of the corn in the province has been planted. Nationwide, approximately 2% of Argentina's corn will be planted by mid-September. The 2019/20 corn harvest is 99.8% complete with a few fields left to harvest in Santa Fe province.

Argentina Soybeans - There have not been any soybeans planted in Argentina and I don't expect any to be planted until about mid-October.

Argentina Wheat - The wheat crop in Argentina is rated 41% poor to very poor, 42% fair, and 17% good to excellent. The problems for the wheat have been dry weather and frosts. The recent rains in the central and southern areas will help the wheat to recuperate somewhat. Drought in the northern production areas continues to negatively impact the wheat crop. The crop is mainly in vegetative development with 3% heading.

Argentina Sunflowers - The sunflowers in Argentina are 10% planted which is approximately 20% slower than last year. Most of the early sunflowers are planted in northern Argentina and the dry weather has delayed the planting progress.