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January 31, 2018

After 2-3 Weeks of Dryer Weather, much Wetter Forecast for Brazil

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

Brazil Soybeans - Prior to this week, the weather in central Brazil over the past two weeks has been dryer than at any time since last October with some areas going 2-3 weeks without rain. The short dry spell is expected to end due to a very wet forecast for central Brazil. The expected rainfall should eliminate any moisture deficits that may have developed over the last couple of weeks. In fact, farmers in central Mato Grosso are now concerned that too much rain will impede their harvest progress.

The prior dry weather in central Brazil has been good for the early soybean harvest. Nationwide, the soybean harvest advanced to 3.8% according to AgRural compared to 4.3% last year and the 5-year average of 2.9%.

Some farmers in central Brazil are concerned that the dry weather during January will negatively impact their soybeans if the crop was in the midst of pod filling during January. In eastern Mato Grosso for example, farmers in the municipality of Nova Xavantina have reported that the yield of soybeans that were filling pods during January will be disappointing and probably in the low 40 bu/range.

In other areas of Mato Grosso where the moisture was more consistent during January, yields are expected to be very good and in fact, the dry weather was welcomed because it allowed the harvest pace to pick up. In the municipality of Pedra Preta in southeastern Mato Grosso, the early soybean yields are being reported in the low 60 bushel range.

A week of generally dry weather allowed farmers in Mato Grosso to make good progress on the soybean harvest. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported on Friday that the statewide soybean harvest was 12.3% complete, which was up 9% for the week. The harvest pace is now ahead of the 5-year average of 11.4%, but still a little slower than last year when 16% of the crop had been harvested.

In contrast to the recent dryer weather in central Brazil, much of Parana has received nearly daily rainfall for about the last 35 days. The start of the soybean harvest is several weeks late in the states of Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goias. Farmers in these states may have already harvested a few early fields, but in general the harvest is less than 1% complete in these states.

Brazil Corn - The early full-season corn harvest is underway with 5.3% of the corn harvested compared to 3.4% last year and the 5-year average of 4.6%. Most of the early full-season corn harvest is occurring in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, which is basically tied with the state of Minas Gerais for the most full-season corn acreage.

The safrinha corn is what everyone is interested in and AgRural reported that in Mato Grosso, farmers have planted 7.1% of their safrinha corn compared to 10.2% last year and the 5-year average of 4%. The most advanced safrinha corn planting is in the north-central region of the state where 12.2% has been planted compared to last year when 16.8% had been planted. This area has the heaviest concentration of safrinha corn acreage in Mato Grosso. Other areas of Mato Grosso are just getting started on their safrinha corn planting.

The weather is forecasted to turn much wetter in Mato Grosso over the next 1-3 weeks, so the soybean harvesting, and the subsequent safrinha corn planting, will slow down as well. I am not too concerned about the first 70% of the safrinha corn planting in Mato Grosso, it will get planted before the ideal window closes about the 20th of February. It is uncertain what will happen with the last 30% of the safrinha corn. Will it get planted or not is the question.

The situation is similar in other safrinha corn producing states such as Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goias. The majority of the safrinha corn will get planted, we just don't know about the last 30%.