The drought isn't generalized nationwide, but It's been so dry in my Brazilian town a state of emergency is to be declared as overall crop losses – mostly soy and sugarcane – in the area have been estimated at 30 to 50%. After a droughty start to the season, things got a bit better. But now there are places that have had any regular rain for two weeks. And in Brazil's mostly sandy soils, that can take a toll.
One crop tour participant told an audience last week that some parts of the national growing area haven't had any regular rain for two weeks now. If no relief comes in the next week or so, he said, losses could climb to nearly a bushel per day.
First, it rained too much in a lot of places to get the soybeans planted in time to be able to count on rainfall throughout the production period for planned second-crop corn. December got better. And then, in parts of south-central Brazil and the Northeast, the spigot closed to a drip and the mercury climbed.
As a result, the ag consultancy Agroconsult last week cut its estimate of 2014-15 Brazilian bean production due to the return of hot, dry weather over recent weeks.
In the group's last estimate, the country was to produce 94.6 million tonnes, but not it's looking more like 93.3 million. It doesn't look yet, though, like too big a bust: even the newer and lower estimate is some 9% higher than last season's Brazil production, of more than 86 million tonnes.