World Grain - May 2018 - 76
D RY ING A C ONCER N
Already reduced second-season corn crop is in danger of decreasing further
by Drew Lerner
razil agriculture continues to grow from year to
year with a tremendous amount of grain and oilseed production. The nation has become quite a
specialist in double cropping - a practice that allows
the Brazil farmer to plant two major crops in the same
growing season. The reason for this is the extra-long
warm season that the nation enjoys, and when early
soybean planting occurs in late September and October
there is plenty of time for the crop to be harvested in
January and February with an opportunity to plant a
second crop of either corn or cotton.
The key to successful double cropping in Brazil is all
about weather, which should not come as a surprise because that is the case in all agricultural areas. However,
Percent of normal rainfall in Brazil for April 1-23, 2018
Rio de Janeiro
Rio Grande do Sul
Source: World Weather, Inc.
to get a second crop of corn or cotton in the ground and
developing while the rainy season is still prevailing.
Brazil's rainy season begins in October and usually
lasts into April. Planting a second crop of corn or cotton
crops to emerge, establish and reproduce while the rainy
occur after seasonal rains subside, but there is normally
VXI¿FLHQWPRLVWXUHLQWKHVRLOWRFDUU\RQQRUPDOFURSGHvelopment, resulting in favorable yields and crop quality.
This year's weather has not been following the "textbook" version for rainfall in Brazil. First, seasonal rains
were delayed in the spring so that the early crop was
either planted in dry soil or was delayed until seasonal
rains began. For some of the soybean crop planting,
delays lasted three to four weeks. Soybean harvesting
normally occurs in January, but this year's delayed start
to the harvest season had some of the crop maturing and
being harvested in late January and February. A bout of
rainy weather occurred about the same time that second
season corn planting began, further delaying some of
the planting until late February and early March.
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more dependent than usual upon late season rainfall to
support their best yield potential. In a "normal" year
when planting occurs on time, a monsoonal rainfall
pattern that diminishes in April rarely has much impact
on production. However, in years like this when planting is a few weeks late for some production areas, there
is a risk that seasonal rains that end normally will leave
reproduction. That is today's dilemma.
Rainfall has been unusually light in April this year
from Paraguay and northwestern Rio Grande do Sul
through Santa Catarina and Paraguay to Mato Grosso
do Sul, Parana and Sao Paulo. Rainfall in these areas
has been well below half of normal and some areas
have reported less than 25% of the usual moisture.
Having dryness for a little while in early April is not
usually a problem if scattered showers and thunderMay 2018 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com