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February 25, 2016

Safrinha Corn Planting Progressing Quickly in Brazil

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

As farmers in Brazil harvest their 2015/16 soybean crop, they are also planting their safrinha corn as quickly as possible. Mato Grosso is the number one safrinha corn producing state in Brazil and the safrinha corn crop in Mato Grosso is 42% planted compared to 26% last week and 40% last year.

The next two weeks will be critical for the safrinha corn planting because the ideal planting window has already passed and farmers will not risk planting their corn past the first week or two of March. If they can plant the corn within the next week, there is still the possibility of adequate rainfall during the critical grain filling period. If planting is delayed past March 10th, there is a significant risk that the crop will run out of moisture before it reaches maturity.

In their latest assessment, the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) increased their estimate for the 2015/16 safrinha corn crop for the state. They are now estimating that the safrinha corn acreage in the state will increase 4.9% compared to last year to 3.47 million hectares. They are estimating the corn yield at 5,371 kg/ha (82.7 bu/ac) with a total production of 19.9 million tons.

The increased interest in safrinha corn production is due to the strong domestic corn prices in Brazil. Brazil has over-exported corn which has resulted in corn shortages for the livestock industry in southern Brazil and resulting high corn prices. In many areas of southern Brazil, the current corn price is approximately double it was last year at this time. Imea reported that the domestic corn price in the state increased 2.1% last week to an average of R$ 24.47 per sack.

The state of Parana is the second leading safrinha corn producing state in Brazil and the safrinha corn in the state of Parana is over 60% planted.

Historically, Mato Grosso has produced approximately 39% of Brazil's safrinha corn crop with Parana producing 25%. The safrinha corn planting in both Mato Grosso and Parana is running a little ahead of last year's pace. The number three and number four safrinha corn producing states in Brazil are Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias respectively. The safrinha corn crop in Brazil now represents approximately two-thirds of Brazil's total corn production.