South American farmers are bracing for another round of harvest-wrecking polar cold.
A new mass of cold air began buffeting the region Saturday evening, according to Brazil’s National Institute of Meteorology (INMET) — and by Sunday, frost had again ravaged the midwest and southwest of Rio Grande do Sul, west of Santa Catarina, and south of Parana.
During the past two decades, Brazilian farmers have gotten used to “double-cropping” soybeans and corn.
This is the main reason Brazil has risen to become the main competitor to U.S. exports for both crops — double-cropping has allowed the country to efficiently use its unique climate to increase annual yields.
However, the window is tight.
And, as you’d expect, the Grand Solar Minimum appears to be closing that window.
Like most tropical locales, Brazil has a distinct wet and dry season. Over the past few decades, the wet season has lasted roughly September to May, allowing a good soybean crop in the spring and summer, followed by a good front-half to the corn season before turning drier.
If the season does not go as planned for any reason, catastrophe can easily strike — and this is the reality this season, as record-breaking cold has routinely buffeted the region.
The soybean season got off to a horribly late start due to late-arriving rains.
And when those rains did finally arrive, they persisted throughout the soybean harvest, delaying things even further — as a result, corn planting was typically delayed by around a month.
The rains quickly shut down in late-March/early-April, and the real worry set in.
Compounding the misery were those debilitating frosts.
Production numbers have continued to be slashed every time a new forecast is released — many private agencies are coming in with well-under 90 million metric tons (mmt) of total corn production, while CONAB recently reduced its forecast down to 93.4 mmt, with the USDA pegging expectations back to 93 mmt.
Note: the recent historic freezes were left out of these estimates, so further reductions are expected.
The second corn in Parana –the second-largest producer in Brazil– is down 19% year on year at 9.8 million mt, according to the latest Parana state agriculture department estimate; however, and as is the case with the agencies above, the department says their next report –released on July 29– will include another downward revision in Parana’s 2020-21 corn output due to “frost damages suffered in late June” (revisions which again won’t take into account the latest bout of polar cold).
“Overall, of the 2.46 million hectares to be harvested, 88% are in poor or average condition,” said the Parana state agriculture department. “In this scenario, we should have a significant reduction in expected production.”
Additional strong frosts are expected to sweep southern Brazil on Monday and Tuesday, extending from the south of Mato Grosso do Sul to the border between Sao Paulo and Parana.
Any corn that survived late-June’s/early-July’s Antarctic fronts will likely be finished off by this latest round.
The cold is forecast to intensify July 19-20 across the South American continent, meaning more heavy crop losses for not only southern Brazil but also Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia.
And looking further ahead again, yet more harvest-wrecking cold is forecast to sweep the continent as the calendar flips to August — temperature departures of more than 20C below the seasonal norm are expected:
Skyrocketing corn and soybean prices mean the potential rewards of double-cropping still out-way the increasing risks dealt by earth’s changing climatic patterns — but you need luck to succeed, and this is a commodity in ever-reducing supply as the Grand Solar Minimum continues its intensification…
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING, in line with the great conjunction, historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among other forcings).
Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we’re entering a ‘full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as “the weakest of the past 200 years”, with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
Furthermore, we can’t ignore the slew of new scientific papers stating the immense impact The Beaufort Gyre could have on the Gulf Stream, and therefore the climate overall.
Prepare accordingly— learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift
Following drought for much of the growing period and frost towards the end of June, corn crops in Parana and other states suffered significant yield losses.
Second corn production in Parana, the second-largest producer in Brazil, is seen down 19% year on year at 9.8 million mt in 2020-21, according to a Parana state agriculture department estimate June 21.
However, the state department has already indicated there could be a downward revision in Parana’s second corn output in 2020-21, which will be released on July 29, due to frost damages suffered late June.
“Overall, of the 2.46 million hectares to be harvested 88% are in poor or average condition. In this scenario, we should have a significant reduction in expected production,” Parana’s state agriculture department said in a recent report.
As of July 13, about 89% of the second corn crop area in Parana was in poor or average condition and only 11% of the crops were in good condition, it said.
The data from Parana’s agriculture department also showed 53% of second corn crops had not matured as of July 13.
If the corn crops are between the vegetative stage 6 (V6) and reproductive stage 1 (R1), there can be a total loss of the yield in the event of frost, while crops between R2 and R3 stages can see losses ranging 30-60 bags/hectare (1 bag = 60 kg), according to a report of Siga MS, a tool created by the Mato Grosso do Sul Soy Producers Association (Aprosoja/MS) to monitor crops.
For the corn crops in R4-R6 stages, which are more tolerant to frost damages, losses due to frost are less than 15 bags/hectare. according to Siga MS.