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March 28, 2018

Brazil's Safrinha Corn Crop Planting Nearly Complete

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

Farmers in Brazil have harvested 43% of their full-season corn compared to 56% last year and 52% for the 5-year average. The harvest pace is slower than last year due to farmers focusing more on harvesting their soybeans instead.

The planting of the safrinha corn crop in Brazil is essentially complete at 99%. In Mato Grosso the safrinha corn planting is 100%. There is only a little safrinha corn left to plant in the states of Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goias.

The safrinha corn is generally rated in good condition. The most advanced safrinha corn is in Mato Grosso where the earliest planted corn will start to pollinate probably within a week. The latest planted safrinha corn is in Parana and southern Mato Grosso do Sul. The late planted corn in these two states will pollinate about the middle of May.

The risk for the corn in central Brasil is the onset of dry weather before the crop is mature. At the present time, the soil moisture is generally good across most of central Brazil with some declining soil moisture in eastern and southern Mato Grosso. In Parana and southern Mato Grosso do Sul, the risk for the corn crop is the potential for frost by the end of May.

Some meteorologists in Brazil are forecasting that the summer rains will start to diminish during the first half of April, which would be about normal. The final safrinha corn yield will likely be determined by when the summer rainy season ends.

During the past month, there has been two near-misses of frosts. The first was about a month ago in the higher elevations of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil where temperatures got down to the low 30°F. The second episode was early last week in Cordoba, Argentina where the temperatures dipped to 33°F. I do not know if this is a precursor of things to come, but it certainly needs to be watched going forward.