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Wetter weather in eastern Brazil may slow harvest

Dry southern Brazil favors harvest but damage to crops already done.

As yield forecasts for the South American soybean harvest continue to drop, the weather continues to show no mercy for crops in portions of the southern Brazil and Argentina.

After showers late last week, dry weather returns for the first full week of February 2022. The dry weather in southern Brazil will allow for soybean harvest activities and the subsequent safrinha corn planting that follows. However, wetter weather in areas farther north that don’t necessarily need the rain, may slow harvest progress.

The first full week of February 2022, week-ending February 12, will be one of the driest in more than 30 years from Rio Grande do Sul to southern portions of Mato Grosso, according to data from WeatherTrends360. While dry weather is favorable for soybean harvest, dry to drought conditions in southern Brazil and Argentina have caused many analysts to lower expectations for soybean harvest. 

Dryness will also persist for the growing regions in Argentina. In fact, the first full week of February 2022 will be one of the driest in 30-plus years across the major soybean growing regions of Argentina, according to WeatherTrends360

Temperatures for the first full week of February will be generally near or below normal across much of southern Brazil and Argentina. Below-normal temperatures are expected in the wetter areas across eastern Brazil, and eastern Mato Grosso where this will be one of coolest first full weeks of February in more than 30 years. 


Meanwhile, wetter weather is expected to be favored in eastern Brazil. In fact, the first full week of February 2022 is forecast to be the third wettest in 30-plus years for Minas Gerais and the fifth wettest in the same period for Bahia, according to data from WeatherTrends360. While wet weather has kept soils charged with moisture thus far this season across this region, wetter weather at harvesttime tends to slow down harvest, which can result in later-planted safrinha (second corn) crop.

Late-planting of the safrinha crop can push critical phases of crop development into Brazil’s drier season, so timely planting of the crop is crucial. On the bright side, the majority of the safrinha crop is grown north of where the major dry spots have been across southern Brazil, so soil moisture for this crop going into planting should be plentiful.


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