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January 17, 2018

Wet Weather in Brazil slows Start of Soybean Harvest

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

Brazil Soybeans - The weather in Brazil continues to be generally beneficial for the soybean crop. It has been maybe too wet across parts of central Brazil, but I think the abundant moisture more than offsets potential problems due to a lack of sunshine or increased diseases.

There are only two potential dryness concerns in Brazil. In southern Brazil, parts of the state of Rio Grande do Sul had been dry for 15 days before rains moved through the state over the weekend. The rains did not completely recharge the soil moisture, but it helped. The soybeans in that state are still generally rated in good condition as the crop moves into flowering and pod setting.

The other area to watch is northeastern Brazil. After good rains earlier in the growing season, the weather has trended dryer, but there is more rainfall in the longer range forecast. I don't think it will be a problem unless the forecasted rains fail to develop.

In Mato Grosso some early soybean harvesting is under way. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the soybeans in Mato Grosso are 1.2% harvested compared to 5.3% last year at this time. The harvest pace probably won't pick up until next week or the week after. The soybean harvest in the state will be about 20 days later than last year. Early yield reports are good, which is no surprise. Even though the soybeans were planted later than normal, the weather has been good since planting, which is all that matters for soybeans in central Brazil.

In the state of Parana, the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) is reporting that the soybeans are 13% in vegetative development, 37% flowering, 49% filling pods, and 1% mature. The soybeans in Parana are rated 12% average and 88% good. The first few fields of soybeans in Parana may be harvested this week or maybe next week.

Brazil Corn - A few early fields of full-season corn have been harvested, but I am sure it is less than 1%. The three biggest full-season corn states are Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, and Parana. In Minas Gerais the corn is in vegetative development or pollinating and it is generally in good condition. In Rio Grande do Sul, the corn is further along and generally filling grain. Some parts of the state have been dryer than normal and the corn will probably have an average yield at best.

The Department of Rural Economics in Parana (Deral) reported that the full-season corn in the state is 15% in vegetative development, 36% pollinating, 46% filling grain, and 3% mature. The full-season corn is rated 1% poor, 13% average, and 86% good.

The safrinha corn is what everyone is speculating about. Nearly everyone in Brazil is expecting lower safrinha corn production compared to last year, the debate is how much lower. Instead of safrinha corn, some farmers in Mato Gross may opt for cotton, dry beans, or sunflowers.

Imea is reporting that safrinha corn planting in Mato Grosso is 0.08% complete of the estimated 4,248,765 hectares projected for the state (basically this translates to one or two fields in the state). Last year at this time, the planting was 2% complete