Caroline Stauffer – Reuters, 01/04/2013
Brazil’s Northeast is suffering its worst drought in decades, threatening hydro-power supplies in an area prone to blackouts and potentially slowing economic growth in one of the country’s emerging agricultural frontiers.
Lack of rain has hurt corn and cotton crops, left cattle and goats to starve to death in dry pastures and wiped some 30 percent off sugar cane production in the region responsible for 10 percent of Brazil’s cane output.
Thousands of subsistence farmers have seen their livelihoods wither away in recent months as animal carcasses lie abandoned in some areas that have seen almost no rain in two years.
Isis Almeida – Bloomberg, 04/24/2012
Sugar cane-growing areas in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, will get rains this week, preventing the start of the new crop’s harvest, according to weather forecaster Somar Meteorologia.
Heavy rains will fall in the states of Parana and Sao Paulo from tomorrow to April 27, Marco Antonio dos Santos, an agronomist at the company in Sao Paulo, wrote in a report e- mailed yesterday. Rainfall may exceed 50 millimeters (2 inches) and will help soil moisture and plants, he said.
Wet weather over the weekend favored the development of recently planted sugar cane, according to the report. New crops were already smaller in size and inferior in quality because of dry weather earlier this year, dos Santos said.