USDA's Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin summary of Argentina and Brazil conditions suggests the growing season is off to a promising start. Here's the rundown from the October 25, 2016, report.
ARGENTINA: Rain improved planting prospects for summer grains, oilseeds, and cotton.
BRAZIL: Beneficial rain continued in the south, but warmer- and drier-than-normal conditions prevailed in key central production areas.
THE FULL RUNDOWN
ARGENTINA -- Widespread, locally heavy showers overspread the region, improving planting prospects of summer grains, oilseeds, and cotton. Rainfall totaled 25 to 100 mm (1-4 inches) over a broad area stretching from La Pampa and Cordoba northeastward through Corrientes. Lighter rain (less than 25 mm or 1 inch) fell in southern Buenos Aires and the northwest (notably Santiago del Estero and Salta). The moisture was especially welcomed in Cordoba, which recorded the first significant rain of the planting season.
Cooler-than-normal weather (weekly temperatures averaging up to 3 degrees Celsius below normal) accompanied the rain, though no freezes were recorded. Daytime highs reached the lower 20s (degrees C) in southern farming areas (Buenos Aires, northeastern La Pampa, and southern Cordoba) and as high as the upper 30s C in the far north (in and around Formosa).
According to the government of Argentina, sunflowers were 40% planted as of October 20, 15 points ahead of last year's pace.
BRAZIL -- Locally heavy rain fell in southern Brazil, providing abundant moisture for summer crops but slowing late wheat harvesting. Rainfall totaling 100 to more than 200 mm (4-8 inches) covered Rio
Grande do Sul, with amounts in excess of 25 mm (1 inch) spreading northeastward through southern Minas Gerais. According to the government of Rio Grande do Sul, wheat was 5% harvested as of October 20, with the rest of the crop ranging from filling to maturing, making the excessive nature of the rainfall untimely. Farther north, showers diminished over the Center-West Region, with large sections of Mato Grosso receiving less than 10 mm (one-half inch).
Daytime highs reaching 40 degrees Celsius exacerbated the impact of the dryness on newly-sown corn and soybeans, necessitating a return to more seasonable temperatures and rainfall. Warmer, drier conditions also prevailed over the northeastern interior, where -- aside from Tocantins and environs -- most locations recorded less than 10 mm (one-half inch) of rainfall. Soybean planting is typically underway in the northeastern interior upon the onset of seasonal rainfall.
Author's Note: Since this report was published, the past week, October 24-28, has featured some favorable rainfall for crops in Mato Grosso. This big state has had widespread 3-7 inch rainfall totals for the month of October, running mostly a bit above normal. Included in that rundown of 1-4 inch rains in Argentina is flood damage. Northwestern Buenos Aires has had extensive flooding on an estimated 246,000 hectares (more than 600,000 acres).
Bryce Anderson can be reached at Bryce.email@example.com
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