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November 30, 2018

Santa Catarina runs 4 Million Ton Deficit in Corn Production

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

The state of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil is the country's largest hog and poultry producing state, but the farmers in the state cannot produce enough corn to meet the local demand. The demand for corn in the state is approximately 7 million tons per year, but the state produces approximately 3 million tons of corn per year. The remaining 4 million tons are imported from the states of Mato Grosso, Goias, and Mato Grosso do Sul.

Farmers in the state have been trying to produce more corn in recent years, but it has been an uphill battle. Many local farmers have opted for more soybean production due to the higher profitability of soybeans, but the situation appears to be changing a little in 2018/19.

According to Epacris/Cepa (the Center for Social-economic Agricultural Planning), farmers in the state are expected to increase their corn production in 2018/19 by 10%. Corn acreage in the state increased by 7.4% to 328,600 hectares and there are high hopes for very good yields this year. Corn acreage is up due to strong corn prices and the need to rotate more of their soybean acreage.

The statewide corn yield in 2018/19 is expected to be 8,300 kg/ha (128 bu/ac), which would be the highest statewide yield in Brazil. One of the reasons why the corn yields are so high is because virtually all the corn in the state is full-season production. There is very little safrinha corn produced in the state because of the early onset of "winter-like" temperatures. In addition to being Brazil's second most southern state, the state is very hilly/mountainous and the higher elevations in the state often record the coldest winter temperatures in Brazil.

Without having any significant safrinha corn production, which is generally lower yielding than full-season corn, the statewide corn yields can outperform other states such as Mato Grosso and Parana where the vast majority of corn is safrinha production.

The goal in the state is to increase the statewide corn yield to 10,000 kg/ha (154 bu/ac), which is already the case in the regions of Xanxere and Campo Novos.