The 2023-24 harvest was marked by lower rainfall in Mato Grosso

Embrapa researcher recalls that the last few months have also had above-average temperatures, contributing to greater loss of water in the soil

01.04.2024 | 14:55 (UTC -3)
Gabriel Faria
Photo: Gabriel Faria
Photo: Gabriel Faria

Embrapa Agrossilvipastoril published the second Agrometeorological Bulletin monitoring the 2023/2024 harvest in Mato Grosso. The document provides information on the accumulated precipitation in the period, comparing it with the region's history. This edition proves that the current harvest was marked by lower rainfall and also by irregularity.

According to the bulletin, the months of September, October, November and December had accumulated rainfall below the historical average in most of the state, which delayed soybean sowing and, in some cases, forced producers to replant.

Embrapa researcher and author of the bulletin, Jorge Lulu, recalls that these months also had above-average temperatures, contributing to greater loss of water in the soil. Data from the Embrapa Agrossilvopastoril meteorological station showed that total soil water replacement only occurred in the first days of January. Greater delay when comparing the last five years, when the same level was reached between October and November.

“Due to irregular and low rainfall in the municipality, soil water storage (ARM) increased slowly from the third ten-day period of October/2023, when it reached only 23% of maximum capacity, until the first ten-year period of January. /2024, when it reached 100% of storage”, he reports.

Between August 2023 and last March 10, the rainfall recorded at the Embrapa Agrosilvopastoral Meteorological Station was 1.613,2mm, the lowest value in the last five years, when the volume was always above 2.000mm.

Climate risk management

To avoid the risk of losses caused by climate anomalies, such as those recorded in the 2023/2024 harvest in Mato Grosso, the production sector relies on the use of Agricultural Climate Risk Zoning (Zarc). Zarc defines, based on the region's climatological history (30 years), the type of soil and cultivars used, which is the most appropriate planting window. The tool defines three risk ranges (20%, 30% and 40%), which indicate the greater or lesser probability of crop failure in each Brazilian municipality.

Zarc, in addition to helping producers manage the risk of agricultural activity, also serves as a parameter for banks, financing agents and insurance companies to define interest and redeem agricultural insurance.

A network of Embrapa researchers is constantly working on improving Zarc, in order to expand the bases considered in defining the windows. With each review and update, the production sector is called upon to contribute to validating the information. Ordinances with sowing windows for each crop are published annually by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Mapa).


On the 19th, during the Norte Show fair, in Sinop, the Embrapa Agrossilvipastoril researcher will give a talk on the theme “How to prepare your farm to deal with climate change?”.

On the occasion he will talk about the use of Zarc in planning, in addition to the use of conservation techniques, such as permanent soil coverage, crop rotation and increasing organic matter.

Mosaic Biosciences March 2024