Happy New Year and welcome back to winter for many! Unless you happen to live in the Southwest, temperatures through early next week are forecast to trend much colder than normal as the 3rd nation-wide Arctic outbreak of winter hits the US. Much colder than normal temperatures have been slowly spreading across the country since the start of 2017 and are expected to encompass a majority of the US by Friday, January 6th. While the colder trends will start to move out of the West over the weekend, the East Coast will still be cold to start next week. Many regions will experience at least 5 days of temperatures well below normal during this Arctic outbreak. Confidence is also building for snowfall in the Southeast over the weekend. Currently, the Carolinas are expected to receive the most snowfall from this storm, but lighter amounts are expected back through northern GA, AL, and even MS. Preparations for snow should be taken sooner rather than later as these areas are often not as equipped to handle accumulating snow as those where snowfall is more common.
This US might be cold and snowy, but it’s summer in South America. While the Brazilian soybean crops continue to experience a mostly favorable growing season this year, the same cannot be said for Argentina. Recent heavy rains in some areas in the heart of the growing region have caused localized flooding. Some of these areas, such as Cordoba, southern Santa Fe, and northern Buenos Aires, are the same that were hit with heavy, flooding rains last year during harvest. Soybean planting in this region of Argentina typically wraps up by January 10th and many are hoping their fields dry out in time to replant soybeans that were lost to the flooding. Unfortunately, this first full week of January is forecast to be much wetter than normal, with nearly 4” (102mm) of rain for some. Next week, conditions are not forecast to improve as much wetter than normal trends stick around for the central soybean region. An additional 2.5-4” (64-102mm) of rain for the week is expected. While there will be a few days with little to no rain, it will probably not be enough to dry the fields and allow for all the needed replanting.
Currently, a total of 85% of Argentina’s soybeans have been planted so far with the northern portion of the growing region still having the most to plant. It is estimated that there is still about 3 million hectares left to plant, excluding any replanting. With wet weather sticking around in the forecast, it is possible that the country might not reach their intended planted acreage this year. However, areas outside of the flooded region currently are in mostly favorable condition. Lighter rainfalls in these areas are actually helping yields.
In Brazil, the soybean planting window in Mato Grosso is now officially closed. Early harvest has begun for some soybeans that were planted early and are of the early-maturing variety. Yields this year are expected to be much improved from last year when heat and dryness wreaked havoc on the crop. In the state, current estimates have production reaching as high as 30.5 million tons. If realized, this would break the current production record for Mato Grosso. With many of the soybeans having been planted earlier this year, many are hopeful that an earlier harvest will allow more – or maybe even all – of the state’s safrinha corn crop to be planted before the close of the ideal planting timeframe. Currently, the forecast from today through the end of the ideal planting window calls for more precipitation than last year, but right around average.
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