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August 23, 2012

Farmers to Plant More Early Maturing Varieties in Parana

If the weather permits, farmers in Parana are expected to plant one third of their anticipated soybean production before the end of September. They are allowed to start planting on September 21st and farmers want to plant some of their soybeans as early as possible in order to allow enough time to harvest the soybeans and plant a second crop of safrinha corn. The corn also needs to be planted as quickly as possible after the soybeans are harvested in order to allow enough time for the crop to mature before potential frosts next June.

Early planting of soybeans does not necessarily guarantee good yields. In September of 2011, a large percentage of the state's soybeans were planted in a short period of time in late September and early October and unfortunately when last year's drought hit, a lot of the crop was at a sensitive reproductive stage and the result was a severely reduced soybean crop. At the start of the 2011/12 growing season, the state of Parana was expected to harvest 15 million tons of soybeans, but it ended up at only 10.8 million tons.

Agronomists are recommending to farmers who will plant soybeans during the second half of September to choose indeterminate varieties that can resume flowering and setting pods after a period of dry weather. Indeterminate soybeans have become much more popular in Brazil in recent years and over 70% of all the early planted soybeans in Parana are now this type of soybean.

Another concern for the farmers this year is if there will be spot shortages of fertilizers at planting time. Congestion at the Port of Paranagua has delayed the entry of fertilizers into Brazil and currently there are approximately 115 vessels waiting at the Port of Paranagua and 48 of those vessels have fertilizers waiting to unload. If farmers have not already purchased their fertilizer needs, it may be difficult to source the material and they will certainly be facing higher fertilizer prices.