Overall, Brazil's soybean crop is in good condition, but farmers in parts of Mato Grosso do Sul and Parana, the No. 2 soy state, are increasingly concerned about the paucity of rains, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy.
Brazilian soybean planting was 98% complete as of Friday, AgRural reported Monday. The only states with significant field work ahead are Para and Piaui in the north/northeast.
The main concern about dryness is in the south of Mato Grosso do Sul, where rains have been extremely irregular over the past 20 days. Indeed, some regions have received absolutely no rain in this period. Damage to the crop is far from irreversible but, with an ever-increasing portion of the crop entering the pod-filling stage, the need for rain grows more pressing by the day, especially where the soils are sandiest, said AgRural.
In Parana, most of the soybean crop is in good shape, especially in the west of the state, where good yields from early-planted fields are now more or less guaranteed. However, there are some dry regions in the north, principally Cornelio Procopio, said AgRural. The region did receive light showers last week but it wasn't sufficient to significantly improve soil moisture.
Heightening apprehension in the region, weather charts do not predict any more than scattered showers for southern Brazil and the south of Mato Grosso do Sul until the New Year.
According to Somar Meteorologia, a local weather service, Parana and southern Mato Grosso do Sul will receive no more than one-eighth inch this week.
In contrast, heavy showers are forecast for the center-western states of Mato Grosso and Goias.
According to AgRural, a large portion of the crop in northern and western Mato Grosso is looking excellent and, with the harvest a couple of weeks away in some cases, good yields are more or less guaranteed.
Somar Meteorologia forecasts 2 1/4 inches of rain for northern Mato Grosso this week.
Brazil is expected to produce around 90 million metric tons (mmt) this season, which would peg it slightly higher than the last U.S. crop.
Alastair Stewart can be reached at email@example.com
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