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Corn farmers in central Brazil worried about drought while country hopes for bumper crop

Dry weather forecast for the second half of April in Brazil’s central area, where some of the country’s largest grain producing states are located, might limit yields for the 2021/22 second corn crop, experts said.

After seeing its first crop affected by the lack of rainfall, Brazil now hopes to harvest an 88.5 million-tonne second crop, which accounts for nearly 75% of its total corn output in a given year.

But the dry weather expected to be seen at least until early May in states such as Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goias, Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo keeps worrying farmers.

“We are looking at it with great caution and concern,” said Cleiton Gauer, superintendent at Imea, a farm economy institute based in top grain producing state Mato Grosso.

“Southeastern Mato Grosso, which is an important region for corn, may be impacted if such a weather forecast is confirmed,” he told Reuters, despite current projections of a record crop of about 40 million tonnes as planted area in the state rose 8% from a year earlier.

Marco Antonio Santos, an agricultural meteorologist at consultancy Rural Clima, said there is no rainfall forecast for central Brazil until the end of April – an outlook backed by meteorological data provided by Refinitiv Eikon.

Santos noted, however, that a cold front should bring some rains to Southern Brazil later this week.

This should benefit especially the state of Parana, which currently forecasts its second corn crop at a record 16 million tonnes and does not rule out a “supercrop,” according to Edmar Gervasio, a corn specialist at Parana’s agriculture department.

“The second crop really has the potential to reach a record. Even with below-average rains for the next 30 days we would still harvest a great crop,” he said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Roberto Samora; Writing by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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