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August 16, 2012

Brazilian Farmers Preparing for Full-season Corn Planting

Farmers in southern Brazil are making final preparations for the start of the 2012/13 planting season. Full-season corn is the first crop planted in southern Brazil as soon as the temperatures and rainfall insures rapid germination and stand establishment. Agronomists in southern Brazil are advising farmers not to get too anxious to plant their corn.

In Rio Grande do Sul, they are telling farmers to restrain from planting until after August 20th, due to the continuing possibility of freezing temperatures. The state has encountered several episodes of sub-freezing temperatures in recent months and further cold weather is still a possibility. They recommend waiting to plant until the first half of September when the chance of frost is much lower.

The acreage of full-season corn in southern Brazil is expected to decline 10% or more as farmers opt for additional soybean production. The full-season corn yields in 2011/12 were very low due to an extreme drought in the region. As a result, many farmers were left with limited financial resources and they are choosing to go with soybeans, which are cheaper to plant. It is also easier to obtain financing for soybeans as opposed to corn. Additionally, soybean yields are relatively better than corn in southern Brazil and they are much more liquid when it comes time to sell. Soybean prices in Brazil are at all-time record highs, which makes the decision to plant more soybeans even easier.

The total acreage devoted to full-season corn production in southern Brazil is expected to decline 10% or more in 2012/13. The full-season corn yields should improve in 2012/13 after very low yields were recorded in 2011/12 due to a severe drought.