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August 8, 2012

Brazilian Planting Schedule for the 2012/13 Growing Season

Full-season corn planting in southern Brazil - If the weather cooperates, farmers in southern Brazil would like to start planting their full-season corn by late August or early in September. For the time being, they have ample soil moisture, but the temperatures are much too cool to consider planting corn any time soon. Very little full-season corn is planted in central Brazil and nearly all the corn in that part of Brazil is safrinha production, which is planted after the soybeans are harvested.

Soybean planting in central Brazil - The first soybeans in Brazil could start to be planted on September 15, which is the end of the 90-day soybean free period in central Brazil. The first soybeans in Brazil are always planted in central Mato Grosso and if they start receiving some showers by mid-September, farmers will certainly start planting their soybeans as early as possible after September 15. The first soybean planted will probably be short cycle soybean varieties that mature in 90 to 95 days. The short cycle soybeans will be ready for harvest in early January when there should be a good premium in the market. Soybean planting in Mato Grosso is usually wrapping up by the end of October.

Soybean planting in southern Brazil - In Parana, soybean planting generally starts in early October and peaks by the end of October. In Rio Grande do Sul, soybean planting generally starts toward the end of October and peaks in mid-November. Soybean planting in southern Brazil is usually later than in central Brazil due to the cooler weather, but also because a significant portion of the soybeans in southern Brazil are planted after the winter wheat is harvested. The winter wheat in Parana is generally harvested in October and in Rio Grande do Sul, the wheat is harvested in November.

Soybean planting in eastern Brazil- A big expansion area for soybean production in recent years has been in eastern Brazil in the states of Bahia, Maranhao, Piaui, and Tocantins. In these eastern areas the rainy season starts later and the soybeans and the full-season corn are generally planted in November and December. Since the growing season is shorter in this part of Brazil, soybeans, full-season corn, and cotton generally compete for the same acreage.

Safrinha corn planting - The safrinha corn crop continues to become more important in Brazil and it is planted after the early maturing soybeans are harvested. The two leading producing states for safrinha corn production are Mato Grosso and Parana. In Mato Grosso, the safrinha corn is generally planted during January and February. It is generally recommended that the corn be planted before the end of February in order to allow enough time for the crop to fill grain before the end of the rainy season. Generally the rainy season is ending by early May and the rains resume in September.

In Parana, the safrinha corn is general planted during February and March. If the safrinha corn is planted too late in southern Brazil it could be impacted by cold weather during June. During the last two years there have been several frosts as far north as Parana, but prior to that, they had gone a decade without freezing temperatures in northern Parana.

Cotton planting - Cotton is general planted later in Brazil than either full-season corn or soybeans. The two major cotton producing states in Brazil are Mato Grosso and Bahia. In Mato Grosso the full-season cotton is planted during the month of December and the safrinha cotton is planted in January and February after the soybeans are harvested. They can't plant cotton too early because the crop needs to mature and be harvested after the rainy season has ended. In the state of Bahia, the cotton is planted during December and January.