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March 29, 2021

Mato Grosso Rainfall in 2020/21 Growing Season Greatest in 5 years

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

If it seems like it rained a lot in Mato Grosso this growing season, you are correct. The rainfall during the 2020/21 growing season in the city of Sinop, which is located in northern Mato Grosso, was a case of two extremes. Dryer than normal weather during September-October-November was followed by above normal rainfall during December-January-February-March. The dry weather delayed the soybean planting and the wet weather delayed the soybean harvest.

Dryer than normal weather during September and October forced farmers to concentrate their soybean planting during November even though the rainfall in the state was still below normal. Farmers were desperate to get their soybeans planted and still allow enough time to plant a second crop of corn or cotton. Unfortunately, wet weather during February and early March delayed the soybean harvest even more.

For the period August 1, 2020 through March 10, 2021, the city of Sinop received 2,150 mm (86 inches), making it the wettest period in five years. When you consider that the first half of the growing season was dryer than normal, it makes the rainfall during the second half of the growing season even more impressive. The months of December with 645 mm (25.8 inches) and February with 647 mm (25.8 inches) were the wettest months in the last five years.

The rainfall distribution across the state during November and December was irregular, but the distribution became much more uniform during January and February with virtually every part of the state receiving excessive amounts of precipitation. Heavy rains continued into March causing significant delays in soybean harvesting and many accounts of poor quality seed.

The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is estimating the statewide soybean yield at 3,473 kg/ha (51.7 bu/ac), which is down 3.2% compared to the record yields of last year. The total soybean production in the state is essentially equal to that of last year in spite of increased acreage.

The big unknown is the safrinha corn crop which ended up being planted the latest in at least the last ten years. Late planted safrinha corn may run out of moisture before it matures due to the onset of the annual dry season.