Heavy rains arrived over Brazil's southern and center-west soybean states over the weekend and should continue over the center-west into next week, independent forecaster Somar said on Monday.

The southern part of the top soy-producer state, Mato Grosso, received ample rainfall over the weekend and will see more widespread moisture over most of the state until Jan. 30.

This could slow the initial harvest of the new crop, which began its early stages in the first days of the new year.

The main southern soy-producing states of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul will turn drier until the end of January, but weekend rains saved soy fields in many areas of those states from experiencing serious moisture stress.

Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s No. 3 soybean-producing state, received beneficial moisture over the weekend ranging from 27 to 83 mm (1-3.3 in.).

Moisture problems may still develop in Rio Grande do Sul’s northern growing regions, while northwest growing areas appear to be in good shape.

According to Somar, average January precipitation in the northern growing region of the state was running only about 63% of normal through Jan. 20, while the northwest region of Rio Grande do Sul had already nearly reached the norm for the entire month.

Number 2 soy state Parana saw some isolated showers over the weekend and can expect to continue to see more of the same the next week and a half, Somar said in its daily soybean weather bulletin.

Central Parana appears to have received some good 1-2-in. rains, while western Parana stayed mostly dry. January rainfall in Parana was averaging about 80% of normal through Jan. 20, according to statistics from Somar.

Parana should start early harvest in late February. Rio Grande do Sul typically does not begin harvesting until March.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, The Corn And Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.