South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Monday 12/03/12

Rainfall Spurs Brazil Soy Planting, Freshens Southern Crops

Ample rainfall last week across Brazil's principle soybean growing regions allowed planting to move forward and allayed concerns about dryness in the south.

Brazil-wide planting covered 86% of projected area as of Nov. 30, down on the 93% registered at the same point last year but in line with the five-year average, Safras e Mercado, a local farm consultancy, said Monday.

Consistent showers fell across northern Rio Grande do Sul and western Parana, dousing soybean fields that had gone a couple of weeks without rain.

More rain is still needed after November precipitation that totaled just 40% to 60% of the region's monthly average. It won't come this week, with little more than scattered showers forecast, but it may arrive next week as a cold front moves over the region, according to Somar Meteorologia, a local weather service

The dry weather has caused germination problems among some early-planted beans in Rio Grande do Sul, although the state's crop is generally in good shape, said AgRural, another local consultancy.

In Parana, rain soaked the western fields but partly missed more central soy regions, which are in need of more soil moisture, it added in a weekly report.

In contrast, some farmers in Mato Grosso hope the rain will ease after uncommonly heavy downpours throughout November. Their prayers will be partially answered with lighter precipitation forecast for this week, although the deluges are set to return the week after, said Somar.

The net result is forecaster have little reason to adjust their Brazil crop numbers, which currently sit between 79 and 83 million metric tons.

Alastair Stewart can be reached at

Posted at 4:46PM CST 12/03/12 by Alastair Stewart
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