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August 14, 2013

Corn Harvest in Mato Grosso Complete, Cotton 56% Harvested

Corn - Farmers in Mato Grosso are wrapping up the harvest of a record large safrinha corn crop. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the 3 million hectares of corn are 97% harvested and the total production is estimated at 18.7 million tons with a statewide yield of 103 sacks per hectare (6,180 kg/ha or 95 bu/ac).

After a slower than normal planting season, the weather cooperated with abundant rainfall all the way through the grain filling period. The north central part of the state had the highest yields at 107 sacks per hectare (6,429 kg/ha or 99 bu/ac) and that region will produce approximately 55% of all the corn in the state.

In many parts of the state the corn production has surpassed the storage capacity of the region forcing grain elevators to pile the corn on the ground. Mato Grosso is in the midst of the dry season, so there is little chance of rain until later in September. Many farmers and grain elevators have also purchased silo bags to temporary store their excess corn production.

Currently, the federal government is conducting a series of auctions at which they purchase the corn at the minimum price guaranteed by the government, which is R$ 13.02 in Mato Grosso or approximately US$ 3 per bushel. The market price in the state is below the minimum price set by the government, so the farmers want to government to commit to purchasing even more of the corn. The government has said that they will purchase up to 4 million tons at the minimum price, which is only 21% of the total production in the state.

Cotton - Farmers in the state have also harvested 56% of the 452,000 hectares of cotton planted in the state. The average statewide yield thus far is estimated at 3,900 kg/ha. The state of Mato Grosso is expected to produce 55% of Brazil's total cotton crop. This is a little higher than normal due to production problems in the state of Bahia, which is the second leading cotton producing state in Brazil.

The cotton carryover in Brazil is expected to fall to 393,000 tons, which would be the lowest since the 2009/10 growing season. The domestic market for cotton in Brazil is strong and the majority of Brazil's production will stay within the country.