Temperature Reversal in South America

Safrinha (second-season) corn in Brazil has waded through many challenges this year. It got a late start due to delays in the start of main season soybeans, was further delayed by wet conditions during planting, and then quickly turned dry as the crop was just starting to get established. Every new report that has come out over recent months has continued to show reductions in production forecasts. The frost was just another nail in the coffin of the safrinha corn season.

If there are silver linings for area farmers, it’s hard to find them. Corn prices have taken a hit in recent weeks as the moisture situation has improved some in the U.S., and Ukraine and Russia look to have excellent prospects thus far.

The frosts appear to be over, however. Temperatures will be on a slow rising trend for the next seven days, which is also expected in Argentina. The cold was not as biting in this country, which regularly observes frosts over the winter and their main-season crops are just waiting to finish harvest.

Winter wheat, however, could use warmer temperatures. Despite a lack of significant rainfall in recent weeks, soil moisture for Argentina’s wheat belt continues to be adequate to abundant, a testament to the prior heavy rains in the fall and the reduced evapotranspiration. Emergence and establishment are likely moving along really well, which includes southern Brazil as well.

The frosts are not that concerning as the wheat is still not tillering and a few hours below freezing will not cause too much damage. But the heat that is coming next week will help the crop accelerate its growth a bit, even if it is the coldest time of the year.

John Baranick can be reached at john.baranick@dtn.com

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