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December 5, 2017

Second Half of Brazil Soy Planting Progressing Ahead of Average

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Brazilian Soybeans - The soybeans in Brazil are 92% planted compared to 87% average. At the start of November the soybean planting was behind the average pace, but good rains during the month allowed planting to move ahead of average by the end of the month. They continue to receive good rains across central, eastern, and northeastern Brazil. The exception to the good weather has been in southern Brazil which appears to be in a drying trend.

Soybean planting in Rio Grande do Sul reached 86% planted late last week. The drying trend in southern Brazil is not a problem as yet, but the state needs to be monitored because of its tendency to be hot and dry during the months of December and January.

The soybeans across Brazil are generally rated in good condition. In the state of Parana for example, the soybeans are rated 10% average and 90% good. The soybeans in Parana are 4% germinating, 77% in vegetative development, 18% flowering, and 1% setting pods.

The earliest planted soybeans in Brazil have now started to flower and I would estimate that a few of the earliest fields might be harvested by New Year's Day. The soybean harvest won't gain speed until probably about the middle of January.

If the soybeans are planted later than normal in Brazil, it does not necessarily mean that the soybean yields will be impacted. Late planted soybeans can yield very well if the weather cooperates during the remainder of the growing season. The near term forecast for central Brazil looks favorable, while the forecast for southern Brazil is calling for below normal rainfall.

Brazilian Corn - The full-season corn in south-central Brazil is 89% planted compared to 92% last year and 81% average. This represents an advance of 18% during the past week. The advance in planting last week can be attributed to the rapid planting in the state of Minas Gerais that in one week went from 21% to 75%. In the state of Goias, the corn planting last week advanced from 68% to 91%.

In general, the full-season corn in Brazil is rated in good condition. Some of the earliest planted full-season corn is starting to pollinate. In the state of Parana for example, the full-season corn is 83% in vegetative development, 15% pollinating, and 2% filling grain. The full-season corn in Parana is rated 1% poor, 10% average, and 89% good. The state of Minas Gerais is actually the largest full-season corn producing state in Brazil and since the corn has just been planted in the state, the crop is currently in early vegetative development.

The full-season corn acreage in Brazil declined significantly this year and we will get Conab's latest assessment of the crop in their December Crop Report, which will be released next Tuesday, December 12th. With the smaller full-season corn crop, the safrinha corn crop in Brazil will take on even more importance in 2017/18 and it will account for slightly less than 75% of Brazil's total corn production.