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December 10, 2015

Imea Estimates that 3.1% of Soybeans in Mato Grosso Replanted

The soybean planting in Mato Grosso is already the slowest in seven years and the farmers are still not done planting their 2015/16 soybean crop. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported that 97.4% of the crop has been planted as farmers continue to struggle with irregular rainfall, which has been a problem all across central Brazil.

Imea also reported on Wednesday, December 9th, that as of November 27th, farmers in the state had replanted 281,000 hectares of soybeans or 3.1% of the total soybean acreage. The amount of replanted soybeans could go higher because planting was still underway at the time of the survey.

The reason for the replanting was poor germination and inadequate plant populations resulting from the irregular rains thus far this growing season. The soybeans may have had enough soil moisture to germinate, but subsequent hot and dry weather resulted in seedling death and low plant populations.

Replanting a field of soybeans is a difficult decision for farmers. In addition to increased costs for seed and fuel, the replanted soybeans will probably have a lower yield potential and could face increased disease pressures because of their delayed development. Therefore, costs will go up for the replanted fields at the same time that yields will go down.

Imea estimated that the replanting soybeans will cost the farmer and extra 7.8% in their total cost of production. To make up for these additional costs, the farmer would need to increase his yield by 4 sacks per hectare (3.5 bu/ac) or sell his soybeans for R$ 4.37 per sack more than the current price (approximately US$ 0.50 per bushel). Neither of those prospects seem likely at the present time, so producer margins will be squeezed even further as a result of the replanting.

Many farmers in Mato Grosso had planned on planting a second crop of cotton following the harvest of their first crop of soybeans, but since the soybeans were going to be planted so late, they opted instead to plant only one crop of cotton. December is the main planting month for full-season cotton in Mato Grosso and January is the main planting month for safrinha cotton.