“Biblical rains” put South American crops in jeopardy

Brazilian producers are facing losses of 4 million acres of corn and soybean crops yet to be harvested after nearly 31 inches of rain has fallen and additional rain in the forecast.

Brazilian crop growers are feeling the pressure from what weather experts are calling “biblical rains,” which are jeopardizing crops yet to be harvested in the South American country. The State of Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil’s second-largest soybean producer, is in a state of public emergency after more than 31 inches of rain fell in one week.

The corn and soybean industry says the overwhelming rainfall will likely result in a total loss of 4 million acres of crops still in the fields. With more rain in the forecast through the first half of May, the situation may worsen.

The U.S. commodity markets are watching that harvest progress closely in South America. Despite more flooding on the continent recently than in nearly a century, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Meteorologist Brad Rippey says dry weather is likely not far away.

“I think the big concern for South America — for Argentina and southern Brazil — will be heading into the next crop cycle. They’re harvesting now, so they’re six months off of us because they’re in the Southern Hemisphere. So, I’d be focused on potential drought for the 2024-2025 crop in South America.”
Brad Rippey, USDA Meteorologist

South American crops have been hit hard by La Niña in recent years, and this would mark the fourth La Niña weather event in just five years.

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