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December 17, 2019

2019/20 Brazil Soy Generally OK, Dryness in NE Brazil Worries

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

The 2019/20 soybean crop in Brazil is approximately 95% planted, which is about average. Most of the soybeans that are left to plant are in northeastern Brazil.

Generally, the weather has been favorable for soybean development in most of Brazil in spite of the delayed planting. The one area of Brazil where the weather is still sub-par is northeastern Brazil or the region called Matopiba, which consists of the states of Maranhao, Tocantins, Piaui, and Bahia.

The summer rains start later in northeastern Brazil, but they are starting even later than normal this year. The near term forecast is calling for dryer than normal weather from eastern Mato Grosso eastward to Bahia. This could complicate the soybean planting in the region that is already late. The 6-10 forecast is calling for a chance of rain in northeastern Brazil. Currently, I would guess that maybe 15% of Brazil's soybeans are in this dryer area of north central and northeastern Brazil.

Mato Grosso - While farmers in northeastern Brazil are still trying to finish planting their soybeans, the earliest planted soybeans in Mato Grosso will start to be harvested in January. In 2018, the soybean harvest in Mato Grosso and Parana started by the end of December, but that will not be the case this year. Some of the earliest planted soybeans were in western Mato Grosso and they will start harvesting those soybeans sometime in early January.

Parana - Soybean planting in western Parana got underway later than normal this year due to dry weather, but the weather has improved and the soybeans are now developing normally. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) indicated that the soybeans in the state are 63% in vegetative development, 30% flowering, and 7% filling pods. The crop is rated 3% poor, 14% average, and 83% good.

In the municipality of Palotina, which is located in western Parana, the soybean planting generally did not start until mid-October, but since then the weather has improved and farmers are expecting yields in the range of 55 to 58 sacks per hectare (48.8 to 51.5 bu/ac). Last year, the soybean planting started on September 11th, but the rains stopped for over a month during December resulting in lower yields in the range of 40 to 45 sacks per hectare (35.5 to 40.0 bu/ac).

Rio Grande do Sul - Approximately 90% of the soybeans in the state have been planted compared to 91% last year. The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are some of the latest planted in Brazil along with northeastern Brazil. The soybeans are in vegetative development and the Soybean & Corn Producer Association of Rio Grande do Sul (Aprosoja/RS) is recommending to farmers to aggressively forward contract their soybeans in order to take advantage of the good prices which are in the range of R$ 81.00 per sack (approximately $9.00 per bushel).

Goias - In the municipality of Cristalina, which is located in eastern Goias, the soybean planting was delayed due to dry weather, but the rains in November and December have aided crop development. The president of the Rural Syndicate of Cristalina expects yields to surpass the 54 sacks per hectare achieved last year (48 bu/ac). Farmers are forward contracting their soybeans as high as R$ 75.00 per sack (approximately $8.35 per bushel), something that is rarely achieved in eastern Goias.