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February 8, 2018

Soy Harvest in Parana under way, Early Yields lower than Last Year

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

In the state of Parana in southern Brazil, farmers are finally getting the chance to start harvesting their 2017/18 soybeans after weeks of wet weather. The harvest is starting approximately 2 weeks later than last year due to delayed soybean planting last September and October and recent wet conditions.

The soybean harvest in Parana is just getting underway, whereas last year at this time, 6% of the soybeans had been harvested. The early yield results in western Parana are not encouraging. According to the chief economists from the Department of Rural Economics (Deral), in the 28 municipalities in the region surrounding the city of Cascavel in western Parana, the soybean acreage increased 2% this year, but the total soybean production is expected to decline 3% due to lower yields.

Deral is expecting the yields in the region to be below 3,700 kg/ha (53.6 bu/ac) compared to the 3,932 kg/ha last year (57.0 bu/ac). Deral attributes the lower yields to nearly constant cloudy and wet weather experienced in the region from mid-December to the end of January. The cloudy conditions reduced photosynthesis activity and most importantly, prevented farmers from applying needed fungicide treatments for the control of soybean rust. During the entire 2017/18 growing season, the state of Parana has consistently been the state in Brazil with the highest number of confirmed cases of soybean rust.

Early yields are highly variable and Deral is warning that the yields of the later maturing soybeans may be even more impacted by soybean rust due to the longer exposure to the disease.

The delayed soybean harvest is also delaying the planting of the safrinha corn crop in the region. Deral estimates that 2% of the safrinha corn has been planted. Due to the delayed safrinha corn planting, the Secretary of Agriculture for the state of Parana recently extended the dates of when farmers may plant their safrinha corn and still be eligible for crop insurance and state programs. In areas of the state where February 10th was the last day to plant safrinha corn, the state has extended the date to February 20th.