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February 7, 2018

Safrinha Corn in Brazil 10.6% Planted, Mato Grosso 16% Planted

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

The full-season corn in Brazil is 6.6% harvested compared to 6.2% last year and 8.1% average according to AgRural. The full-season corn harvest is most advanced in the state of Rio Grande do Sul where 22% of the crop has been harvested. Early yield results in the state have been variable due probably to frost damage and wind storms earlier in the growing season. Farmers in the state started to plant their full-season corn in August and they finished in December. The harvest has now started and it will continue until sometime in May.

The full-season corn harvest is just getting underway in Parana and Santa Catarina. The safrinha corn planting in Brazil is 10.6% compared to 13.6% last year and 5-year average of 10%. Safrinha corn planting in Mato Grosso was 16% complete as of last Friday according to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea). This compares to 27% last year and the 5-year average of 12%. The safrinha corn planting is most advanced in the north-central region of the state with 27% planted compared to 45% last year. Safrinha corn planting will continue until early March.

In their second estimate of the safrinha corn crop in Mato Grosso, Imea is estimating that the acreage will be 4.46 million hectares, which would be down 5.8% compared to last year (-270,000 hectares). In their first estimate of the crop, they had the acreage down 10% from last year. They are estimating the yield will decline 11.4% compared to last year to 94.9 sacks per hectare (87.6 bu/ac) and the total production will be 25.4 million tons, which would be down 16.5% from last year (-5 million tons). In their first estimate of the crop, they had the production down 18% from last year. Therefore, Imea is a little more optimistic about the safrinha corn crop than they were a month ago.

Low corn prices continue to be a deterrent to safrinha corn acreage in Mato Grosso. In north-central Mato Grosso, the current corn price is about R$ 15.50 per sack (approximately $2.20 per bushel). Farmers in the region say they need about R$ 18.00 per sack to break even on their safrinha corn production (approximately $2.50 per bushel).

Safrinha corn planting is just getting underway in Goias where 1.2% has been planted, Minas Gerais has planted 0.5%, and Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul have planted 0.4% each.

There are about three weeks left in the ideal planting window for safrinha corn in central Brazil. As I have said before, I think that approximately 70% of the safrinha corn will be planted before the ideal planting window closes in central Brazil, which is about the third week of February, but that will depend if wet weather slows down the soybean harvest. The questions is what will happen to the last 30%?