El Niño and La Niña: rains and droughts in plantations in Brazil

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El Niño is characterized by an increase in water temperature in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean. La Niña, on the other hand, acts to reduce this temperature in the same area. These two weather phenomena have a significant impact on global temperature and precipitation patterns.

In Brazil, El Niño tends to cause droughts in the North and Northeast regions, while La Niña tends to bring rain to these areas. In southern Brazil, El Niño increases rainfall and La Niña reduces rainfall.

This year, the El Niño event, combined with severe climate changes, generated an unusual increase in the volume of rainfall in the southern region of the country, causing serious floods that devastated crops, compromising businesses and generating uncertainty regarding agriculture in Rio Grande do Sul.

“These extraordinary climate effects are changing agricultural control guidelines; something that in the past was expected or predictable, today, can no longer be predicted or understood” comments Felipe Jordy, leader of intelligence and commercial consultancy at Biond Agro.

The arrival of La Niña in Brazil

La Niña has a 49% chance of forming between June and August, and 69% between July and September, according to NOAA. Furthermore, between September and October, the beginning of summer crop planting, the chances already exceed 80%. The agency's projections point to a weak to moderate intensity of the climate phenomenon, for now.

From the 76/77 harvest to the current 23/24, El Niño and La Niña patterns directly affect soybean productivity in the country. In La Niña years, the country has a productive advantage compared to previous years, even with possible penalties for the South.

“Given the presence of La Niña, market entities and sources are already expecting better productivity in Brazil, especially in the Central-West, where in the 23/24 harvest there was a drop of more than 16%, frustrating initial expectations that exceeded 160 million tons of soy. Finally, it is expected that the numbers for the future harvest, 24/25, will already exceed the first projections for the current cycle.

How to manage agriculture in the face of climate phenomena?

Climate monitoring is essential for the agricultural sector for several reasons. It allows for more efficient agricultural planning, where farmers can make informed decisions about the best time to plant, harvest, apply fertilizers and pesticides, optimizing the use of resources and maximizing farm productivity.

Furthermore, the forecast of extreme weather events, such as droughts, frosts, storms and floods, makes it possible to adopt preventive measures to protect crops and livestock, reducing significant losses. Climate data is also essential for efficient water management, adjusting irrigation based on forecast rainfall and avoiding both water waste and water scarcity.

Knowledge of expected climatic conditions also facilitates the choice of more suitable cultivars, improving plant resistance and productivity. From a financial perspective, understanding climate trends helps producers plan, adjust budgets, predict yields and manage risks. This is particularly important for obtaining agricultural financing and insurance.

“Our role is to manage risks, especially as the weather can directly affect supply and demand, influencing market prices. We monitor the climate so that producers can adjust strategies and take advantage of price changes”, says the expert.

Source: Notícias Agrícolas

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