Another year of troubling drought conditions for Brazil ?

Photo credit : WVC 2001-07

Farmers Union in the N.E. Brazil

Brazil crops still at risk a year after epic drought

by Adam Novak

Just a year after a record drought hit southeastern Brazil, the region is once again facing water worries, as meteorologists warn it should expect just half of its normal amount of rainfall this winter.

Drinking-water, electricity supplies and crop production are all at risk, as the less than expected rainfall will put further pressure on nearly depleted reservoirs.

January should be the region’s rainiest month.

But an atmospheric blockage is preventing cold air from advancing in the area. The results; the heavy rainfall expected at this time of year has been replaced by limited, scattered showers.

This could greatly affect farming in Brazil, which is the world’s largest exporter of coffee, sugar, soy and beef.

Brazil’s center west soy belt, another important crop for the nation, has also been hit with irregular rainfall, according to local weather forecasters.

The lack of rain could also create power problems for Brazil.

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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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