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Virtual Crop Tour 2020: Brazil

Welcome to the Brazil Virtual Crop Tour 2020

This is a year like no other. With a global pandemic and weather events, numerous variables are impacting crop production this season. To understand what’s happening in the ground, we look to the sky by using scientific-grade satellite data to power industry leading analytics. 

This virtual crop tour is taking place 14 December to 18 December, 2020 for purpose of analyzing the conditions key crops in Brazil. 

Our team of crop analysts constantly monitor the world’s major growing regions using our Agriquest tool. This is a preview of the services we deliver to our global customers from a field to continent level.

Learn more about our Expert Service packages or contact us to see how we can help your business stay ahead of the curve.

18 December


1. BRAZIL – Expectation for the next days: Heat alert.

For the next days of December, the forecast is for rains above 20 mm (0,8 inches) in practically the entire central and southern region of the country, with possibilities for rains above 50 mm (2,0 inches) in some regions ① (highlighted in yellow on the map). However, there is a possibility of high temperatures, above 34 degrees Celsius or 93 degrees Fahrenheit (highlighted in yellow on the map), an unfavorable scenario for crops ②.

The weather conditions of the coming weeks will be decisive for soybean production in the country. If precipitation decreases and temperatures are high, soybean fields can be negatively impacted. To monitor.

2. BRAZIL – Did the vegetation index deteriorate in December?

NO. Analyzing the NDVI at the beginning of the month ① and on the day 16/12 ②, it is observed that the vegetation index had good development in most regions, with emphasis on Mato Grosso and Goiás ③. Only Rio Grande do Sul has deteriorated in most of the state ④ (however, the cycle is less advanced in Rio Grande do Sul compared to other states, which means that soybean fields may still show good recovery in the region). The greater precipitation in the first weeks of December allowed for the good development of crops so far and reduced the impacts of the drought recorded in October and November.

3.  Conclusion

On the last day of our Virtual Crop Tour in Brazil, we brought a general analysis of what was seen throughout the week and an expectation for the last days of 2020.

Through the AgriQuest tool, the Virtual Crop Tour covered more than 75% of the total area destined for soybean. The five states analyzed were responsible for about 75% of soy production in the 2019/2020 harvest.

The Virtual Crop Tour was held between 12/14 to 12/18 and aimed to assess the conditions of soybean fields in the main agricultural regions of Brazil, in order to clarify the scenario for Geosys customers.

To find out about production estimates from Brazil and other countries, contact us and purchase our services.

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17 December

1. RIO GRANDE DO SUL – Has the central region of the state had negative impacts due to drought?

YES.  In the center of the state, a region highlighted in yellow ①, the cumulative precipitation since October is at the lowest level in recent years ②, even with the highest volume of rain in December. The soil moisture was well below average at the beginning of the season ③ and despite the improvement in the last 2 weeks, the water reserve has decreased again in the last days and the it’s expected that it will decrease further at the end of the month. With unfavorable conditions, the vegetation indices is at the second lowest level of the decade ④. NDVI is at a similar level to the 2019/2020 and 2011/2012 seasons, both of which are very poor in terms of yield.

2. RIO GRANDE DO SUL – South of the state still have problems with low rainfall?

NO. In the south center of the state, a yellow region on map ①, the drought was less severe than in the west center of the state. In the area highlighted, the NDVI is at the highest level in the last 10 years ② and with good dynamics in the last days. The higher rainfall ③ and the increase in soil moisture ④ in late October and also in late November ⑤ and early December ⑥ were favorable and contributed to the good development of crops in the field. The La Niña phenomenon does not seem to have had a negative impact on the area, at least for now, unlike other regions in the state.

3. RIO GRANDE DO SUL – La Niña x crop production.

With the exception of some areas of the state, in general the last few months have seen low rainfall in Rio Grande do Sul ①. The cumulative precipitation since November ② points to a similarity with the 2012/2013 season, a season that had poor productivity for corn (summer crop), but positive for soybeans, which are more resistant to drought. The low soil moisture in November ③ and December ④ is a factor of attention, in the 2011/2012 season, a bad year for soybean and corn production in the state, drought seems to have limited the yield potential and, currently, the vegetation indices is similar to that season ⑤. The La Niña phenomenon may be the cause of the low rainfall recorded in the state in the last few months. There is a possibility that the phenomenon will lose strength in January, making room for good rain, but there is a need to follow up to make such a statement. To monitor.

16 December

1. PARANA – West of Paraná is condemned to low soybean production?

NO YET. In the west of the state, in the region between the cities of Cascavel, Toledo and Assis Chateaubriand (in yellow on map ①), low soil moisture delayed soybean sowing and limited soybean development in November. In December, soil moisture improved ②, but the vegetation indices remains well below the average (10-year average). However, the lower dynamics of NDVI in the last few days may be the result of a reading error due to the presence of clouds in the area ③. From the beginning of November until December 15, the cumulative precipitation was below average (10 years average) ④, but at a level similar to that of the 2017/2018 season, when the yield was positive, which indicates that even with the sowing delay the region can still have a fair production. The forecast is that there will be good rainfall in the coming days, which will increase the water reserve in the soil, but the volume of rainfall should decrease in the last week of the month ⑤, which may limit the productive potential of soybeans. To monitor.

2. PARANA – Is drought still a concern in northern Parana?

NOT ANYMORE.  In the north of the state①, in the Londrina region (in yellow on the map), precipitation increased in December, mainly in the last days ②, which resulted in an improvement in soil moisture ③ which is currently above average (10-years average), favorable scenario for soybeans. The NDVI showed a slight deterioration in the last days, however, this movement may be a reading error due to the presence of clouds in the area, the greater precipitation in the last days collaborates with this analysis, but there is a need to monitor the next days to make this affirmation. Currently, the vegetation indices is in line with the 2014/2015 season ④ on which the yield was positive, which points to the possibility of fair production (as in the west), despite the low rainfall in October and November.

3. PARANA – Did the drought scenario also affect the eastern region of the state?

NO.  Differently from western Paraná, in the eastern region of the state ① the vegetation indices is at a good level, above average (10-years average) ②. Soil moisture has increased since the end of November and is currently close to the ③ average (10-year average). Accumulated precipitation, considering since the beginning of November, is just above the levels recorded in recent years ④. With soil moisture at a good level and expectations of mild temperatures, conditions are favorable for soybean fields in the region. However, if there are episodes of low rainfall in late December and January, the favorable scenario can be reversed. To monitor.

15 December

1. GOIAS – Has the South of Goias shown problems with drought in December?

NO. In the south of the state, in the cities of Jataí and Rio verde ① (in yellow on the map), the vegetation indices has shown good dynamics in recent days ② and is similar to the 2017/2018 season (considering the period), even with the delay sowing this year. In December the soil moisture had a good increase in the last days, which is favorable for the crops ③. The increase in soil moisture is a reflection of the higher rainfall ④ in the period. For the next few days, the forecast is that there will be good rains next week ⑤, a favorable scenario if consolidated.

2. GOIAS – Can we expect good production in eastern Goias?

FOR NOW, YES.  Unlike most of the central region of Brazil, in the east of Goias ① the NDVI is at a satisfactory level, above the average and for the last 5 years ②. Soil moisture has risen sharply since the beginning of December, which was favorable for crops ③. In addition, the water balance (despite being at a negative level) shows a more favorable scenario compares to the last season (2019/2020) ④. However, it is necessary that the rains continue in good volumes, so that there are good conditions and, consequently, a favorable production.

3. MATO GROSSO DO SUL – Is the concern with the drought over?

YES and NO.

In the south center of the state, a region highlighted in yellow on the map ①, the NDVI had good dynamics in the last few days ②, similar (a little above) to the previous season, considering the same period. The soil moisture has varied close to the average (10 years average) and it’s expected to increase in the coming days. The cumulative precipitation in December is close to average ④. For now, the volume of rainfall in the month was similar to that recorded in the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 seasons, but in those years, there was a good volume of rainfall in late December and in January. It is expected to continue to rain in the coming days, but precipitation is expected to decrease next week. The rains of the coming weeks will be important to determine the direction of production in the region. To monitor.

14 December

1. Central region of Mato Grosso – Does higher level of soil moisture provide relief for soybean fields in the region?

YES and NO.  In the yellow region on the map ① (between the cities of Sorriso, Lucas do Rio Verde, Nova Mutum and Diamantino), the soil moisture level has improved significantly since the beginning of December ②, which was favorable for soybean fields . However, the vegetation indices ③ remain in a low level, a fact that keeps us cautious about soybean production in the area. In the first 11 days of the month, the volume of rainfall was similar to the last season ④ and the forecast is that it will continue to do so until the last week of December ⑤. If the volume of rainfall is satisfactory in December and January, the drought in October and November should not reflect negatively on the soybean production. To monitor.

2. East of Mato Grosso – Is there still great concern about drought in eastern Mato Grosso?

NO. In the east of the state ① (in the cities of Barra do Garças, Água Boa, Nova Xavantina and Campinápolis), part of the region known as Vale do Araguaia, the vegetation indice is similar to the 2017/2018 season ②. It is worth mentioning that the deterioration observed in the last days may be a reading error due to the presence of clouds (it will be necessary to monitor the next few days to confirm). In the region, soil moisture has risen sharply since the beginning of December ③, due to the greater rainfall in the period ④, which reinforces the possibility of an NDVI reading error in the last days. For the coming days, according to the European model (ECMWF), the forecast is that it will continue to rain, which will be favorable for soybeans and lessen concerns about drought in the region.

3. Southeast of Mato Grosso – Is the soil moisture at a satisfactory level in the southeast of the state?

NO.  In the southeast of the state ① (yellow on the map), precipitation increased in December ②, however, the soil moisture remains well below average, despite the slight improvement in the last few days ③. With the low soil moisture, NDVI is at a much lower level compared to previous years ④, a fact for precaution in the region. However, the forecast is that the volume of rainfall will continue to improve, which should contribute to the gradual increase in soil moisture ⑤, which will be favorable for soybean fields. However, the forecast needs to be consolidated. To monitor.

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