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August 23, 2017

South American 2017/18 Planting Season Quickly Approaching

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

Even though we are only slightly past the middle of August, the 2017/18 planting season in South America is quickly approaching.

Brazil - Currently, the main crop in the ground in Brazil is the winter wheat crop in southern Brazil. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) in the state of Parana is reporting that 13% of the wheat in Parana is mature, 38% is filling grain, 26% is flowering, and 23% is in vegetative development. The wheat crop in Rio Grande do Sul is in vegetative development or flowering. Parana is the largest wheat producing state in Brazil followed by Rio Grande do Sul.

The safrinha corn harvest is complete in central Brazil and it should be complete in Parana within two weeks. The main concerns for safrinha corn producers are low prices and a lack of storage space.

Farmers in central Brazil are allowed to start planting their 2017/18 soybeans on September 16th, but in the state of Parana, farmers will be allowed to start planting their 2017/18 soybeans on September 11th. This is five days earlier than last year and the state is conducting a one-year experiment to see if early soybean planting is appropriate.

A cold front is currently draped across much of central Brazil and there have been some showers over the last few days in Mato Grosso, Goias, and Mato Grosso do Sul. Rainfall in August is highly unusual because August is normally the peak of the dry season. The rains have been more generous and widespread in the states of Parana and Sao Paulo. It is possible that the soil moisture will be sufficient for soybean planting to start as soon as it is permissible, we will just have to wait and see.

Paraguay - Farmers in Paraguay could also start planting their corn by the end of August. There are no restrictions in Paraguay as to when farmers can start planting their soybeans and they may start any time the conditions are suitable. It is possible some early soybeans could be planted in Paraguay by late August or early September.

Argentina - Planting in Argentina usually gets underway a little later than in Brazil or Paraguay. Currently, the winter wheat crop in Argentina is in vegetative development or early flowering. The first row crop to be planted is generally sunflowers in northern Argentina. The majority of the sunflowers are produced in Buenos Aires province where planting starts in September, but in far northern Argentina, sunflower planting could start as early as late August.

Next comes the early corn planting which could start as early as mid-September. The corn in Argentina is planted in two phases. The first phase usually ends by late October. Farmers do not plant much corn during November and then the second phase of planting starts in December and ends in January.

Argentine farmers generally start planting their soybeans sometime in October with November being the main planting month. The double crop soybeans, which follows wheat, are the last to be planted and they should all be planted by sometime in January.