April 1, 2013

Brazilian Soybean Harvest Approaching 70% Complete

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

The 2012/13 soybean harvest in Brazil is approaching 70% complete. In the three biggest soybean producing states, Mato Grosso, Parana, and Rio Grande do Sul, the soybean harvest has reached 97%, 75%, and 25% complete, respectively. The two main regions left to be harvested in Brazil are in far southern Brazil and in northeastern Brazil.

According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the soybeans in central Mato Grosso are 100% harvested, with 96% to 99% harvested in southern and western Mato Grosso, and 82% harvested in northeastern Mato Grosso. The northeastern part of the state was the last to plant and now heavy rains are hampering harvest progress in the region.

In their latest report, Imea reduced their estimate for the 2012/13 soybean crop in the state to 23.5 million tons down from earlier estimate of 24.1 million tons. The reasons stated for the reduction was dry weather earlier in the growing season, reduced sunshine during January and early February, and excessive rainfall during the harvest period.

Soybean yields in the central, western, and northeastern regions of the state are estimated to be approximately 2 sacks per hectare (1.8 bu/ac) below earlier estimates with the average yield in these regions being below 50 sacks per hectare (3,000 kg/ha or 43.5 bu/ac). Some of the best yielding soybeans this year were in the southeastern region of the state.

Farmers in the northeastern Brazilian states of Bahia, Piaui, Maranhao, and Tocantins are now starting to harvest their soybeans, but the early harvest pace has been slowed by excessive rainfall. The soybean crop in Bahia suffered from an extended period of dryness earlier in the growing season and farmers are now concerned about wet weather during the harvest period. In the states of Maranhao and Tocantins, the wet weather has already resulted in deteriorating seed quality for some of the early maturing soybeans.