South America Calling

Rainy Pattern Returns to Central Brazil

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
This corn was planted just over three weeks ago in southern Parana state in Brazil, near the Argentina border. The farmer was disappointed in his soybean yield due to a shortage of rainfall, but recent rains had hit the area as his corn was planted. (DTN photo by Chris Clayton)

A more normal rainy pattern has returned to central Brazil. The rain is too late to help soybeans, but is of major benefit to second crop corn.

The return of the rainy season to central Brazil is good news for second-crop corn development, but may slow the soybean harvest which has been running well-ahead of normal due to early plantings and a drier-than-normal pattern the past 30 days.

Hot and dry weather in southern Brazil last week likely stresses pod-filling soybeans. However, some moderate to heavy rain earlier this week eased stress.

At this point, the main issue going forward for Brazil will be how the rainy season in central Brazil behaves during the next 30 days. If the weather returns to a more normal rainfall pattern and the rains do not continue into March, the corn crop could be hurt as soil moisture reserves are limited due to the dryness of the past 30 days. El Nino conditions have weakened during the past few weeks, which may be allowing rainfall to pick up. There are some forecast models suggesting El Nino conditions could increase during the next few months. If this occurs, it could lead to an earlier-than-normal end to the rainy season.

The weather pattern of adequate soil moisture and no persistent hot weather is generally favorable for developing corn and soybeans in central Argentina at this time. However, there are indications that a hotter and drier weather pattern will become established during the next seven to 10 days. If this occurs, it will deplete moisture, and increase stress on filling crops. The main filling period for soybeans in Argentina is mid-February to mid-March, so this situation clearly bears close watching.

In general, the way the weather patterns work in South America is that when it is wet in central Brazil, it is drier in southern Brazil and central Argentina, and vice versa.

We will have our latest calculation of the sea surface temperature departure in the eastern equatorial pacific for the first half of February next week.

Mike Palmerino can be reached at



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