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April 2, 2020

Safrinha Corn off to a Good Start in Southwestern Goias

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

Farmers in central Brazil are finalizing their 2019/20 soybean harvest and they have also completed planting their 2020 safrinha corn. In the municipality of Mineiros, which is located in southwestern Goias, the soybean harvest is 90% complete and farmers finished planting their safrinha corn about 10 days later than normal.

The safrinha corn planting was delayed because the soybean planting was delayed by dry weather last September and October. Since the corn has been planted, the weather has been good and farmers are expecting corn yields in the range of 130 to 135 sacks per hectare (120 to 125 bu/ac). Goias is responsible for approximately 11% of Brazil's safrinha corn production.

In addition to good weather, farmers are also encouraged by good prices for their corn production. Farmers are able to forward contract their anticipated corn production for prices in the range of R$ 35.00 per sack (approximately $3.50 per bushel), which is about R$ 5.00 per sack more than what they had expected just several weeks ago (approximately $0.50 per bushel more).

Domestic grain prices continue to spike higher in Brazil due to the weakening of the Brazilian currency compared to the U.S. dollar. The Brazilian real is currently trading in the range of 5.25 reals to the dollar, which is an all-time high for the currency (or all-time low depending on how you look at it).

Farmers in Mineiros already had on hand all the needed inputs for their safrinha corn such as seed, fertilizers, and chemicals before the coronavirus crisis started to slow down truck transportation in Brazil. Truck traffic in Brazil was down 27% last week because drivers complained that many of the basic services were closed along Brazilian highways. The Brazilian government has declared that transportation is an essential service in an effort to keep the trucks on Brazilian highways.