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November 22, 2016

Brazilian Planting Progress - Soybeans Three Quarters Planted

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

Brazilian Soybeans - Up until this point, the condition of the Brazilian soybean crop has been better than average. The crop was planted at record pace especially in Mato Grosso and the weather in central Brazil and northeastern Brazil continues to be favorable for the crop.

The condition of the crop in southern Brazil has not been as favorable. The month of November has generally been dryer than normal in the southern production areas including the states of Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, and southern Mato Grosso do Sul. This area encompasses approximately 35-40% of Brazil's soybean acreage. The near term forecast is not calling for very much rainfall in southern Brazil, although there is a greater chance of rain in the longer term forecasts.

Therefore, a developing concern in Brazil is the dryer pattern that has developed in southern Brazil. Meteorologists in Brazil are telling farmers in southern Brazil not to expect yields as good as the last 3-4 years due to erratic weather and periods of dryness.

The Brazilian soybean crop is 77% planted compared to 70% last year and 76% average. The two major areas left to plant include northeastern Brazil and far southern Brazil. The soybeans in northeastern Brazil are approximately 40-50% planted, but recent rains have improved the soil moisture, so planting should now proceed quickly. Northeastern Brazil plants about 10% of Brazil's soybean acreage.

The other area where planting is slow is far southern Brazil especially the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The soybeans in the state are 50% planted and recent dry weather is starting to concern farmers in the state. Rio Grande do Sul is responsible for planting approximately 17% of Brazil's soybean acreage.

Mato Grosso - The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reports that the soybean crop in the state is 95.5% planted compared to 89.7% last year. In the central and western part of the state the soybeans are completely planted. The slowest area is the northeastern region where the soybeans are 75% planted. The earlier planted soybeans in the state are now blooming. Mato Grosso plants approximately 28% of Brazil's soybeans. It looks like the summer rains have now taken hold in the state.

Parana - The soybeans in Parana are 90% planted according to Department of Rural Economics (Deral) compared to 80% last year. A dryer pattern has developed in the state and farmers are concerned that their soybean and corn yields may have already been impacted by the dry weather. The earlier planted soybeans are blooming and the earlier planted corn is filling grain. Farmers in Parana plant approximately 18% of Brazil's soybeans.

Goias - The soybeans in Goias are 85% planted and the crop appears to be developing normally and the state plants approximately 11% of Brazil's soybeans.

Minas Gerais - The soybeans in Minas Gerais are 45% planted and planting has been slow due to earlier dryness. The rains have now improved so planting should accelerate. The state plants approximately 4% of Brazil's soybeans.

Brazilian Corn - There is starting to be a concern for some of the full-season corn in southern Brazil. The month of November has been dryer than normal in southern Brazil where the majority of the full-season corn is planted. If the dry pattern persists, it could impact some of the corn during the sensitive reproductive period.

The weather thus far in southern Brazil has been colder than normal due to frequent cold fronts moving north out of Argentina. There was even a chance of light scattered frost over this past weekend in the higher elevations of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. There is not any significant grain production at these higher elevations, but it is an indication of how the recent weather has been cold and dry. On the plus side, the below normal temperatures have actually helped to conserve the soil moisture.

There is not much rain in the forecast for southern Brazil and the temperatures should continue to be cooler than normal.

Two thirds of Brazil's corn production will be safrinha corn and I continue to have a positive attitude toward the safrinha corn. The soybeans have been planted early enough so that the safrinha corn will be planted during the ideal planting window next January and February. The only thing that could impact safrinha corn planting is wet weather during January that would delay the soybean harvest, so that needs to be watched.

The other concern for the safrinha corn would be when the rainy season ends in central Brazil. This year, the rains started early, but it remains to be seen when they will end. If the corn is planted early as we think it will be, the corn development could be well advanced before the return of the dry season. If the corn is planted early, the risk from dry weather decreases.