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April 5, 2013

Safrinha Corn in Goias Planted Later than Normal

Strong corn priced convinced many farmers in Goias to plant a second crop of corn after they harvested their early-maturing soybeans. Normally, they would like to plant their safrinha corn between January 20th and February 20th, but unfortunately, the soybean harvest was delayed this year and many farmers were forced to plant their corn later than recommended. The planting of the safrinha corn in Goias this year was extended until mid-March.

The corn planting delays were actually caused by dry weather last September and October which delayed the planting of the 2012/13 soybean crop. In recent years, farmers in the state have been planting more early maturing soybeans to allow enough time to plant a second crop of corn. If these early maturing soybeans are planted during the second half of September, then they can start harvesting in mid-January allowing enough time to finish the corn planting before the ideal planting window closes in late February. If the corn is planted after that date, there is a risk of dry weather moving in before the corn has completed the grain filling process.

Farmers that could not get their corn planted until early March are hoping that the rainy season will continue through the month of May in order to insure enough soil moisture to complete grain filling. Normally, the rainy season ends in late April or early May, but if it ends earlier than normal, then the yields of the later planted corn will probably be disappointing.

Farmers in the state have utilized more aerial application of chemicals as a way to save time and speed up the corn planting process. Aerial applicators in the state report a 12% increase in the application of fungicides and insecticides on corn thus far this growing season. Aerial application can also be a valuable tool when there can be a labor shortage for ground applications when farmers are trying to harvest soybeans and plant corn at the same time.

According to estimates released by the private survey Indicador Colheita da Expedicao Safra, the soybean acreage in Brazil increased 9.5% this growing season and the 2012/13 Brazilian soybean crop should be 81.6 million tons or nearly 22% larger than last year's drought impacted crop.