Martell: South Brazil Heavy Rain Spurs Rapid Planting

November 7, 2011 12:10 AM

The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of

South Brazil Heavy Rain Spurs Rapid Planting

South Brazil was hit twice with strong thunderstorms the last week of October, replenishing dry fields for spring planting. A solid 3 inches of rain, but locally 4 to 6 inches, occurred October 29 in Western Parana. Rio Grande do Sul received 2.5 to 3 inches of rain in the same wave of showers. Five days earlier, 1.5 to 3 inch rains doused South Brazil in scattered thunderstorms.

SouthBZ wetness

By late October, Rio Grande do Sul corn was 92% planted, Parana 83%, and Santa Catarina, 74% finished. Soybean seeding made excellent progress in South Brazil, reaching 56% complete in Parana, 27% Santa Catarina and 10% Rio Grande do Sul.

While rains were very heavy in South Brazil, showers lightened up in Mato Grosso. One-half inch of rainfall, or less, was received. Normally, the weekly rain total is much heavier from 1.3 inch to 1.7 inch. However, without clouds and showers, temperatures in Brazil tropics became very hot, topping out near 100 F in Mato Grosso.

The new Mato Grosso forecast is wet in the upcoming week. If heavy rain materializes, as expected, extreme heat would not be damaging to soybeans.

Mexico Strong Corn Consumption Prompts Higher Imports

Mexico corn production this season may reach only 20.5 million metric tons (MMT), compared with original expectations for 24 MMT. Low production may prompt record imports of United States corn near 10 MMT.

News of a production shortfall came from a new USDA report late in October, Feed Grain Update on Mexico. The Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Mayorga said it was a difficult season for corn, beginning with rain delays in key central Mexico producing areas. Frost in early September damaged corn in the states of Puebla, Mexico, Hidalgo and Tlaxcala. Many of these same areas had drought earlier in the growing season.

The second crop of corn, grown in the winter, may suffer from a serious shortage of irrigation water in Sinaloa, the key state. Reservoir levels were reportedly 46.8% of capacity, compared to 87.9% in 2010.

Mexico corn production has stagnated near 20 MMT to 21 MMT for three straight years. Usage has been 28 MMT to 31 MMT. Three straight years of low production may lead to record corn imports of 10 MMT, or higher, in 2011-12. Mexico corn imports come exclusively from the United States.

US Weather and Crop Highlights

A stormy weather pattern has developed in the U.S. easing drought in the Midwest and providing hope for rain in hard red winter wheat.

US pre 75days

Rainfall last week was over 1 inch in scattered areas of the Midwest corn and soybean belt. Midwest producers were happy to receive heavy rainfall since fields were very dry and harvesting was moving rapidly to a close. The USDA reported that as of October 30, corn was 78% harvested and soybeans 87% complete.

There is still a long way to go to replenish soil moisture. Southern Minnesota had 7 to 9 inch moisture deficits in the 90 days ending November 2. Iowa, western Illinois and Missouri had a 6 to 7 inch deficit. Southern Wisconsin needs 4 to 5 inches of rain to get back to normal.

Hard Red Wheat Dry in Southwest Plains

Very dry conditions continued in southern-central Kansas, northwest Oklahoma and the northern Texas panhandle last week, slowing germination and emergence of wheat. Northwest Kansas, Colorado and western Nebraska were relatively wetter.

Hard red winter wheat ratings October 31 were 45% good-excellent, 39% fair and 16% poor-very poor. The key US bread wheat states included Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Montana, Colorado and South Dakota.


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