What had been a smooth and bump-free start to the 2018-19 soybean growing season in Brazil is changing. The southern portion of the country, specifically the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Maria, Parana, and Sao Paulo, have had a notably dry spell develop. In the week of Dec. 7-14, only the southern part of Rio Grande do Sul had rainfall totaling 1 inch or more. Northern Rio Grande do Sul all the way through Sao Paulo had very light to zero rainfall. Considering that mid-December is the Southern Hemisphere's version of mid-June in the Northern Hemisphere, this is not an occurrence to take lightly.
As the soils have dried out, temperatures have increased. The southern part of Brazil posted daytime high temperatures during the Dec. 9-14 week of 93 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit; this development is directly related to the dry ground helping to reinforce the air temperature. Dry ground will do that; it's why deserts are very hot.
Over the next seven days, there are some showers indicated for this sector of Brazil, but only Rio Grande do Sul is apparently on track to take in heavier rain. Rio Grande do Sul is located almost straight east of north-central Argentina, and thus is in line for a portion of rainfall that is indicated for Argentina over the next seven days.
This forecast will, of course, be watched closely, especially considering that Brazil's soybean crop size is projected to be a new record by quite a margin when harvest is all done during the first half of the year 2019.
Farther north, the largest soybean-growing state, Mato Grosso, has off-and-on showers in its forecast, which are judged to be beneficial in the prospects for soil moisture. Soybeans in Mato Grosso are progressing well, and harvest is expected to begin in Mato Grosso possibly in late December.
Bryce Anderson can be reached at email@example.com
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