The hardest-hit state with dryness has been Rio Grande do Sul. Satellite estimates, as of April 11, indicate that almost the entire state is below 50% soil moisture. Pockets of this extreme dryness have spread to many areas of Brazil’s main growing regions for safrinha corn.
Mato Grosso, the safrinha corn producer, is faring better so far this April. Showers have been a bit more consistent here and are forecast to remain in the area into next week. But amounts have still been below normal and will continue to be that way through the end of April. And with May as the typical start of the dry season, soil moisture reserves may not be able to keep up with demand as corn goes through pollination and grain fill. Timely showers will be necessary through the rest of the growing season as amounts do not look like they will be adequate.
Farther south in Argentina, the corn and soybean harvests continue. Heavy rainfall last week has flipped to dry conditions this week. Harvest delays and grain quality were concerns due to some locations recording over 5 inches of precipitation. Flooding was also a likely issue.
Drier conditions will continue through the weekend, though there will be some scattered showers across the north. This should favor the continued harvest. However, another front will move into the country in the middle of next week. Another slow-moving front with moderate rainfall could again cause delays over a two- to three-day period. Amounts are not expected to be anywhere near what the region saw last week but amounts of 25 to 50 millimeters (roughly 1 to 2 inches) will be possible.
John Baranick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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