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October 19, 2018

Soybean Planting in Western Parana 95% Completed

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

In the region of the municipality of Toledo, which is located in western Parana, the planting of the 2018/19 soybean crop should be completed within a few days. Approximately 94% of the soybeans have been planted and the remainder should be planted with a few more days of sunshine, which is what is in the forecast for this weekend.

The summer rains started earlier than normal this year and the wet weather has continued into the first half of October. The month of October is already the wettest month of the year thus far in the Toledo region. The soybeans are in vegetative development and the crop is rated in good condition by the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The wet weather though is delaying the first applications of preventative fungicides and herbicides. This could lead to increased disease pressures going forward.

Soybean planting in the region started on September 11th and the first planted soybeans should be ready to harvest by the end of December. The first soybeans harvested in Brazil usually command a premium from crushers as they scramble to rebuild stocks. This year though, there could be a bidding war between crushers and exporters for the first soybeans due to the demand from China who has already booked new crop soybean shipments from Brazil for December.

It remains to be seen if there will be enough soybeans available at Brazilian ports by the end of December to start loading vessels. Certainly, there will be enough by mid-January given the anticipated early harvest. The first soybeans harvested in Brazil this year will be in western Parana, which is only a few hours drive from the Port of Paranagua. The first soybeans harvested in the state of Mato Grosso, which is as much as 2,000 kilometers from the Port of Paranagua, generally do not make it to the ports until the second half of January.

The situation this year in western Parana is much better than last year when dry weather resulted in significant delays in the soybean planting. The soybean yields last year ended up being good, but the delayed planting and subsequent delayed harvest resulted in a very disappointing safrinha corn crop. The safrinha corn was planted late and a 40-day period of dry weather in April and May severely impacted the corn yields.

Farmers in the region are also trying to complete their wheat harvest. Approximately 6% of the wheat in the region remains to be harvested and the quality is expected to be poor given the delays caused by the wet weather.