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January 5, 2017

Brazilian Weather Generally Good, dry in Northeastern Brazil

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

Brazil Soybeans - A few early maturing soybeans have already been harvested in Mato Grosso with reports of better than expected yields. The growing season has been very good in Mato Grosso, so good yields are no surprise. The harvest pace is expected to ramp up next week in both Mato Grosso and Parana.

The weather this growing season in most of Brazil has been very favorable. The weather has been very good in central Brazil and even the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil is now receiving rain. The one area of Brazil that remains a concern is northeastern Brazil which includes the states of Bahia, Piaui, Maranhao, Tocantins and eastern Goias. They have been in a dry pattern for several weeks and they have only received light scattered rains accompanied by high temperatures. This area encompasses approximately 10% to 12% of Brazil's soybean production.

Meteorologists in Brazil are forecasting that some light and scattered showers will return to the region starting next week. If the rains are disappointing and the region stays dry for several more weeks, there will be damage done to the soybean and corn crops in the region.

Brazil Corn - The full-season corn production in Brazil will be good, but maybe not quite as good as previously expected due to earlier dry weather in parts of Rio Grande do Sul and recent dryness in northeastern Brazil.

Hopes are very high for the safrinha corn crop in Brazil. With a few fields of soybeans already harvested in Mato Grosso, there are probably also a few fields of safrinha corn already planted as well. The forecast for Mato Grosso during early January is expected to be a little on the dry side, which would be ideal for the early soybean harvest and the early safrinha corn planting.

If the corn is planted early, then there will be a better opportunity for good yields. The way it looks now, the majority of the safrinha corn in Mato Grosso could be planted 2-3 weeks earlier than last year, which lowers the risk of an early end to the rainy season. The final yields will depend on when the summer rainy season ends. If the rains end at the normal time of late April or early May, a lot of the corn will have already pollinated and be into grain filling, thus minimizing the risk of dry weather during the all-important grain filling period.

The ideal planting window for safrinha corn in Mato Grosso closes about February 20th, but if farmers are really stretched, the corn could be planted until March 10-15. During the last growing season, 40% of the safrinha corn in Mato Grosso was planted after the ideal planting window had closed. Late planting of the 2015/16 safrinha corn, coupled with an end to the rains in early April, resulted in a disastrous safrinha corn crop last year.