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April 23, 2020

Safrinha Corn Dry in Southern Brazil, Doing OK in Central Brazil

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

Farmers in southern Brazil continue to be worried about their safrinha corn due to increasingly dry conditions. The state of Parana is the second largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil and a significant portion of the safrinha corn in the state was planted about 30 days later than normal.

According to the Director of the Rural Syndicate in the municipality of Cascavel, which is located in western Parana, the region has gone approximately 20 days without a rain and the safrinha corn is in a critical phase for determining yield. In addition to being impacted by the dry weather, the later planted corn could also be subject to freezing temperatures before reaching maturity.

It is too early to say for sure that the corn yields will be negatively impacted by the dry weather, but each day that it stays dry increases the risk of lower yields. These dry conditions could also impact the safrinha corn in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Sao Paulo as well. The dry weather is also impacting the safrinha corn crop in Paraguay and the later planted corn in northern Argentina.

In contrast to southern Brazil, the safrinha corn in central Brazil is generally doing fine. In the state of Mato Grosso, which is the largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil, an estimated 92% of the corn was planted within the ideal planting window. The corn is now either pollinating or already into grain filling. The corn in Mato Grosso will still need rain for another two to three weeks to insure a good crop.

The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is estimating that Mato Grosso will produce 32.45 million tons of corn or an increase of 0.4% compared to last year. Imea estimates that 9.05 million tons of corn will be consumed within the state by the livestock industry and to make ethanol, which is an increase of 4.3% compared to last year. At the end of 2019, Imea estimated that domestic consumption of corn in Mato Grosso would increase 18% by the end of 2020, but the Corvid-19 crisis changed their estimate. Another 2.6 million tons will be shipped to other Brazilian states for the livestock industry. The remainder of the corn will be exported.

Farmers in Mato Grosso are very pleased with the current corn prices. The price for available corn supplies in the municipality of Sinop, which is located in northern Mato Grosso, is in the range of R$ 38 to R$ 40 per sack or approximately $3.45 to $3.65 per bushel. The price for new crop corn that will be harvested starting in late May or early June, is in the range of R$ 30 per sack or approximately $2.75 a bushel.