South America Calling

More Dryness for Central Brazil

John Baranick
By  John Baranick , DTN Meteorologist
Another system will bring scattered showers to southern Brazil, but the showers are not forecast to move into the higher production areas in central Brazil. (DTN graphic)

A system last week produced some good rainfall over Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo. Rainfall amounts of 15 to 40 millimeters (0.6 to 1.60 inches) were fairly widespread across these areas. The system tried to work farther north into the higher production areas of Mato Grosso and Goias, but was only able to reach into the far southern portions of these regions. Outside of a pocket in the tri-state area of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goias, which received 25 to 75 millimeters (1 to 3 inches), most areas saw less than 25 mm (1 inch).

For the southern states, this was timely rainfall as the crop was going into and through pollination. It helped to stabilize the condition of the crop as well. The central states did not fare as well. Hot and dry conditions have continued to lower soil moisture across these areas as they, too, go through pollination. From southeastern Mato Grosso through Goias and Minas Gerais, soil moisture has continued to fall. Almost all of these areas have less than 40% of capacity available based on the latest satellite estimates from May 23. The pocket of rain that occurred in the tri-state area of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goias stabilized the crop there, but it may have been too late to make any improvements.

Another system is forecast to affect southern Brazil May 28-30 with more widespread moderate rainfall. Amounts appear to be in the 25-to-50 mm (1-to-2 inch) range for the states of Parana, Sao Paulo, and southern Mato Grosso do Sul. This will help with additional corn getting into pollination and early corn fill. While the front may stall across Mato Grosso do Sul and Sao Paulo next week, addition showers should be sporadic and lighter. Indications are that the showers will stay south of Mato Grosso and Goias and there will not be much else to help the corn situation in those states.

In Argentina, the lack of moisture in Brazil has been concerning for transportation of harvested grains. The water levels on the Parana River have fallen so much, that vessels are being limited by how much grain they can load. Brazil and Paraguay agreed to release water from Itaipu Reservoir to help add water to the Parana River, but this would be a temporary solution.

For the country itself, conditions are quite favorable. Rainfall has come in spurts of moderate to heavy amounts. This has allowed for increases in soil moisture when the rains fall along with dry spells to allow equipment into the field for corn and soybean harvest along with winter wheat planting. Soil moisture is adequate to abundant according to satellite estimates for germinating and early growth on wheat, and that extends into most Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil as well.

Drier conditions are expected over the next week. The system that will produce moderate to heavy rainfall in southern Brazil will mostly miss Argentina. Some passing showers will be possible across the far south as a couple of systems pass by, but amounts are like to be less than 6 mm (0.24 inches). Still, the good soil moisture should continue the favorable growing conditions for wheat.

John Baranick can be reached at


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