On Thursday, the USDA’s March WASDE report offered an uptick in soybean expectations. But not a lot of noise was made about the 500,000 MT cut in corn production. Turns out that we could see a bigger downturn in the near future.
We know that it’s been too dry in Argentina. In Brazil, it looks like a monsoon season. Farmers in Mato Grosso are seeing a 200% to 300% uptick in rain, which is threatening their second corn crop.
Meteorologists in the region are not expecting any significant change in weather in Brazil. Though rains will come to Argentina, rains won’t give up to the north.
That has delayed planting. Conab just noted that wet weather fueled a late-running soybean harvest that has delayed plantings. Conab said that in Mato Grosso “rains during the first half of February delayed the soybean harvest, which ended the month with about 70% of area harvested.” That has slowed down the planting of safrinha and corn.
Yesterday, the USDA cut Brazilian corn from 95 MMT to 94.5 MMT. But Conab has a much smaller estimate. The agency cut total Brazilian corn to 87.28 MMT, a cut of 728,000 from its previous estimate. That figure is also more than 10.5 MMT lower than last year.
300 Percent More Rainfall In Brazil Could Stop Safrinha Plantings
Weather problems in South America haven’t been kept a secret, and it’s been similar to “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” It’s too dry in Argentina, it’s too wet in Brazil, but there’s no place that’s been just right.
Kirk Hinz, meteorologist for BAMwx.com, says the dryness in Argentina is partly because of the warm weather. He told AgriTalk After the Bell host Chip Flory temperatures have been in the low- to mid-90s, which is three to five degrees above normal as they head into their fall.
In the next seven to 10 days, Hinz expects a cap on this weather, starting around the ides of March. The change in weather pattern that could bring rainfall to the area is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
He calls it the “more neutral” state of a La Niña, and a negative Antarctic oscillation (AAO) could be on its way. Hinz says the negative AAO will bring more rain chances to the area with lower pressure.
This AAO won’t change the weather patterns in Brazil, which has been quite wet.
“The entire month of March, we’re seeing significant above normal rainfall in Brazil,” he said.
Hinz estimates that in areas like Mato Grosso, farmers have been receiving between 200 to 300 percent more rainfall than normal.
“It’s looking really, really wet,” he said.
Low pressure is supposed to stick around the growing areas of Brazil, making it difficult for some farmers to get their second crop, or safrinha, corn planted.
According to Michael Clark, meteorologist for BAMwx.com, if the soil hasn’t dried out by the last week of March, many farmers will stop trying to get the crop in the ground.
“Water plus dirt will always make mud,” said Hinz.