Mar 22, 2024

Heavy Storms Impacted Northern Argentina and Southern Brazil

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

Heavy storms swept across northern Argentina and southern Brazil on Wednesday and Thursday as a strong cold front moved into the area. Strong winds, heavy rains, and large hail led to widespread destruction of structures in addition to potential crop losses.

In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Civil Defense authorities reported winds of over 100 kilometers per hour and 4-5 inches of rainfall. The south-central area of the state was hardest hit where localized flooding closed or partially closed highways.

Strong winds caused lodging of the soybean plants in the state that are filling pods and reaching maturity. Most of the corn in the state has already been harvested, but damage probably occurred to corn waiting to be harvested.

The province of Buenos Aires in Argentina recorded winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour (equal to a Category 1 hurricane) accompanying by large hail and heavy rain causing widespread damage to structures and probably crops.

Corn in Argentina was 3.7% harvested when the storms occurred and the soybeans were in the process of filling pods. The extent of damage to the crops is undetermined at this point, but there is expected to be excessive lodging and localized flooding especially in low lying areas. The excessive moisture is expected to delay any harvest activity in the region.

The region of southern Santa Fe, Entre Rios, and northern Buenos Aires did not need any additional rainfall because the region has been inundated by heavy rains during the month of March with some areas receiving more than 300 mm during the month (12 inches). Areas of central and southern Santa Fe received an additional 16 inches of precipitation just this week.

Crop estimates in Argentina had been inching higher in recent weeks due to beneficial weather, but the recent storms are expected to trim yields in localized areas. Standing water and high humidity can cause the soybean seed to sprout or rot inside the pods causing a complete loss.