Rain assists Brazil and Argentina, harvest starts in Brazil
South America’s two main agricultural countries – Argentina and Brazil – have faced challenges with dryness during the 2019-20 planting and growing seasons.
Fortunately for farmers there, rain has relieved some farms in the area during the heart of the growing season for most areas.
Provinces in each country find themselves in different stages of the season, but the Brazilian harvest has started, picking up most in Mato Grosso, located in the center of Brazil.
The Brazilian soybean harvest sits at 1.8% this year compared with 6.1% completion at this point last year, according to Soybean and Corn Advisor and AgRural.
Meanwhile, the progress in Mato Grosso is pegged at 5.8%, according to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics, lagging behind last year and the average.
“The rains have been pretty consistent across Brazil, especially in the key growing areas of Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais – those areas have had really good, consistent rainfall this growing season,” says AccuWeather meteorologist Dale Mohler. “Farther south, Rio Grande do Sul, they’ve had a few dry spells, but the dry spells have ended with some pretty heavy rains. It’s been a little bit drier overall in far southern Brazil, though. They’ve had enough rain that I think they’ll have at least an average crop in there if not slightly above.”
Rio Grande do Sul needs 20 to 25 more inches of rain before March or April, Glencar Junior Zanon of the Federal University of Santa Maria says, according to Soybean and Corn Advisor.
Mohler points out that he wouldn’t be surprised if areas in north-central Brazil see “an above- or well-above-average crop” this year.
After the lack of rain, Mohler expects consistent rains to continue to fall in Brazil.
“I don’t see any reason for that to change,” Mohler says. “It looks like they’ve had really favorable weather in Brazil.”
Meanwhile, south of Brazil, Argentina has experienced similar dryness throughout this year, and recently the rain hasn’t fallen as much as Brazil has seen.
Despite the less frequent rains, Argentina has seen an uptick in precipitation from the start of the year. The country progressed to 94.7% completion for soybean planting, according to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange.
“It’s been a little bit drier in Argentina, but nothing to be overly concerned about,” Mohler says. “Maybe it’s knocked a little bit off the yield here and there, but generally they’ve had a pretty good year there, so far. It is going to be a little drier the next week or two, but maybe some rains later next week could kind of help things out a little bit.”
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