'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, Charles Dickens, from A Tale of Two Cities. That also describes crop conditions in South America this year. Figure 1 shows the vegetation health index for Brazil for last week (left) and a year ago (right). Notice much more red (poor vegetation health) in Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and surrounding states this year compared to last year. On the other hand, in the western portions of far southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, vegetative conditions are much better this year than last year.  

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Figure 1. Vegetation Health Index, Brazil, 2024 (left) and 2023 (right)

The weather models agree and are consistent in the South American forecasts into Mid-March. Below normal rainfall for northern and ...