Rainfall of between 20 and 50 millimeters nourished the drought-affected soybean crop across Brazil's No. 3 soy state of Rio Grande do Sul over the weekend, according to a Dow Jones report.

As a result, the crop in Rio Grande do Sul is now in fairly good condition as this rain followed heavy showers the weekend before, said a report from the state's agriculture department.

Emater said 30-40 mm of rain fell on the dry northern regions of the state in Erechim and Ijui. In December, drought had caused heavy losses to the corn crop but didn't seriously affect the soybean crop, which is still largely in the vegetative development stage.

The government forecasts Rio Grande do Sul will produce 9.2 million metric tons of soybeans in 2004-05 (Oct-Sep), up sharply from the 5.6 million tons produced in the drought-hit 2003-04 season.

The cold front that brought rain to Rio Grande do Sul on Saturday and Sunday will move up through the southeast and center-west, bringing more heavy rain.

For the next ten days, only light, isolated rains are expected in the south of the country, while heavy rain is seen continuing in the center-west, which is positive for crop development but will also promote the development of the deadly Asian rust fungus.