The reporting period covers the sowing to early growth stages of maize, rice and soybean and the harvest of maize in the North-East. The harvest of wheat in Central to Southern Brazil was concluded by the end of December. Generally, crop conditions in Brazil were slightly below average compared to the previous five years.
Nationwide, agro-climatic indicators show close to average conditions with 2% lower rainfall, 0.3℃ higher temperatures and RADPAR up 4% as compared to the average. Average weather conditions resulted in close to average potential biomass, 1% above average according to the simulation model. Seasonal temperature profiles present generally above average values except for early and late January. Rainfall and temperature are strongly correlated: In early and late January, rainfall was above average, whereas temperatures were below average. As for the spatial variation, significant differences among the agricultural states were observed: rainfall departures ranged from -41% in Alagoas to +67% in Rio Grande Do Norte. Large positive departures were also observed in some major agricultural States including Ceara (Northeast) with 66% above average. However, rainfall was 25% below average in Rio Grande Do Sul and 12% below average in Mato Grosso Do Sul. The temperatures in most major agricultural states were above average except for Mato Grosso and Ceara where temperature remained near average. Similar patterns were identified for radiation with above average RADPAR in all 9 major agricultural states except for Rio Grande do Sul. Rio de Janeiro is the only state where below average (-5%) radiation were observed. The insufficient radiation in Rio de Janeiro resulted in the largest negative BIOMSS departure (-11%) although the state received the highest rainfall (1536mm, +33% above average). Large BIOMSS departures were also observed in Rio Grande do Sul (-6%), where below average rainfall limited crop growth, and in Ceara (+8%) where it benefitted from above average rainfall.
The national NDVI development profile for Brazil presents slightly below average values throughout the reporting period. According to the NDVI departure clustering maps and profiles, below average conditions were mostly located in Rio Grande do Sul and Northeast coastal areas after mid-November. Scattered areas in Mato Grosso Do Sul and western Parana also presented below average crop conditions throughout the monitoring period. Those areas mentioned above coincided with the areas with relatively low VCIx values (below 0.8). National VCIx is 0.94 and CALF is 2% above average. Significant below average potential biomass in Rio Grande do Sul also confirmed the poor situation. In this major wheat producing state, the adverse weather conditions and below average BIOMSS indicate that below average wheat yields resulted.
Based on cropping systems, climatic zones and topographic conditions, eight agro-ecological zones (AEZ) are identified for Brazil. These include the Central Savanna, the east coast, Parana river, Amazon zone, Mato Grosso zone, Subtropical rangeland zone, mixed forest and farmland, and the Nordeste. Over the recent reporting period, 4 zones received below average rainfall, including Central Savanna, Mato Grosso, Parana Basin and Southern subtropical rangelands which might hamper the early development of summer crops; while Nordeste, and Southern subtropical rangelands received above average rainfall, and rainfall in Amazonas as well as Northeastern mixed forest and farmland were close to average. Amazonas and Mato Grosso are the only two zones with below average temperatures. Radiation in most of AEZs was above average except for southern subtropical rangelands with 1% lower RADPAR. By integration of rainfall, temperature and radiation, achievable biomass is simulated and compared to the last 15YA. Large BIOMSS departures were only identified in Mato Gross with 6% above average mainly due to the above average radiation, and in Southern subtropical rangelands with 10% below average, because rainfall was 15% below average. The Nordeste zone presents the largest positive departure from 5YA of CALF at 81%. Meanwhile, Southern subtropical rangelands and Nordeste present lowest VCIx at 0.78 and 0.80 respectively while all other six AEZs present higher VCIx with values larger than 0.90.
Normal or favorable conditions in Central Savanna, Mato Grosso, Nordeste, and Parana Basin resulted in average to slightly above average crop condition as indicated by the NDVI based crop development profiles in the four zones. Since summer crops in those four zones are still at the early development stage, CropWatch will keep track on the meteorological conditions and crop progresses.
Below average NDVI values as reflected by the crop development graphs were identified in Amazonas, Coast, Northeastern mixed forest and farmland, and Southern subtropical rangelands. Among the four zones mentioned here, Southern subtropical rangelands represent the key agricultural producing area with wheat as the dominant crop. Low rainfall in Southern subtropical rangelands potentially hampered the grain-filling in the end of growing season but it was beneficial for the wheat harvest. Considering the average CALF and low VCIx value in the zone, CropWatch assesses wheat production prospects over the four zones as below average, following the same trend as reported in the November 2019 Bulletin.
Figure 3.8. Brazil crop condition, October 2019 - January 2020
(a) Phenology of major crops
(b) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Brazil
(c) Time series rainfall pofile_Brazil
(d) Time series radiation profile_Brazil
(d) Spatial distribution of NDVI departure profiles
(e) Maximum VCI
(f) Potential biomass departure from 5YA
(g) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Southern subtropical rangelands
(h) Time series rainfall pofile_Southern subtropical rangelands
(i) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Parana basin
(j) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Nordeste
(k) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Mato Grosso
(L) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Northeastern mixed forest and farmland
(m) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Coast
(n) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Central Savanna
(o) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI_Amazonas
Table 3.8 Brazil agro-climatic indicators by sub-national regions, current season's values and departure from 15YA, October 2019 to January 2020
|Current (mm)||Departure from 15YA (%)||Current (°C)||Departure from 15YA (°C)||Current (MJ/m2)||Departure from 15YA (%)||Current (gDM/m2)||Departure from 15YA (%)|
|Northeastern mixed forest and farmland||714||1||26.7||-0.1||1248||4||846||4|
|Southern subtropical rangelands||483||-15||22.3||0.7||1387||-1||776||-10|
Table 3.9 Brazil agronomic indicators by sub-national regions, current season's values and departure from 5YA, October 2019 to January 2020
|Region||Cropped arable land fraction||Maximum VCI|
|Current (%)||Departure from 5YA (%)||Current|
|Northeastern mixed forest and farmland||99||1||0.94|
|Southern subtropical rangelands||100||0||0.78|