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December 23, 2020

Next 45 Day Period will be Critical Pod Filling for Brazilian Soybeans

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

The summer weather in Brazil is improving, but the overall rainfall continues to be below average in many areas. The rainfall is coming in the form of scattered showers instead of the widespread rains with good coverage that is typical for this time of the year.

The soybeans are 97.7% planted with a few soybeans left to plant in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil and in northeastern Brazil. Recent rains in Rio Grande do Sul should allow farmers to complete planting in a few days. In northeastern Brazil, the weather has turned dryer in recent weeks which may slow the completion of the planting.

Most of the soybeans in Brazil are flowering, setting pods, and filling pods. The most important pod filling time for the Brazilian soybeans will be the next 45 days. Any prolonged period of dry weather during that time could negatively impact soybean yields. There is a higher than normal amount of variability in the soybeans this year due to the erratic weather.

Mato Grosso Soybeans - Rainfall during the second half of December and the first half of January will go a long way in determining the soybean production in Mato Grosso. After a dryer than normal September-October-November, the rainfall amounts and coverage have improved during the first half of December, but they are still below average. The weather during the second half of December looks better, but the rainfall could still be slightly below normal.

In their December report, the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), estimated the state's soybean production at 35.49 million tons, which is up 0.2% compared to last year. Their December estimate is down 380,000 tons compared to their November estimate. They attributed the lower estimate to irregular weather.

Imea estimates that farmers in Mato Grosso planted 10.3 million hectares of soybeans (25.4 million acres), which is up 3.18% compared to last year. Their current statewide yield estimate is 57.41 sacks per hectare (51.3 bu/ac), which is down 2.8% compared to last year. Imea estimates that 2.5% of the soybeans in the state had to be replanted.

Western Mato Grosso appeared to be the region most impacted by the irregular weather. This is the region where farmers want to plant their soybeans as early as possible in order to allow enough time for safrinha cotton. In fact, it is reported that some farmers skipped planting a late crop of soybeans and planted their cotton instead.

Imea reported that by the end of November, farmers in the state had sold 66.4% of their anticipated 2020/21 soybean production, which was up 2% for the month. For the 2021/22 soybean crop, farmers have sold 12.9% of their anticipated production, which was up 2.5% for the month. The spot price for available soybeans in November averaged R$ 167.79 per sack (approximately $14.39 per bushel). The price for the 2020/21 crop averaged R$ 125.92 per sack (approximately $10.79 per bushel), and for the 2021/22 crop it averaged R$ 107.98 per sack (approximately $9.30 per bushel).

Parana Soybeans - Deral reported that 37% of the soybeans in Parana were in vegetative development, 37% flowering, 25% filling pods, and 1% maturing. The soybeans were rated 5% poor, 16% average, and 79% good. The good rating is up 2% from last week. Deral is estimating the 2020/21 soybean production at 20.38 million tons, which would be down 2% compared to 2019/20.

Municipality of Cascavel - In the municipality of Cascavel, which is located in western Parana, dry weather delayed the planting which ended up being concentrated between October 14 and October 30, or about 30 days later than normal. In some areas, the soybean planting was extended until November 10. Recent rains in the area have helped the crop maintain a high yield potential. The crop currently has an infestation of stink bugs. The delayed soybean planting is going to impact the safrinha corn acreage with some farmers indicating that they will reduce safrinha corn acreage in favor of more winter wheat, which competes with safrinha corn for acreage.

Municipality of Mangueirinha - The farmers in the municipality of Mangueirinha, which is located in southern Parana, were some of the first farmers in Brazil to plant their 2020/21 soybeans. As a result, they are expecting the soybean harvest to occur during the second half of January and the first ten days of February. Farmers are expecting their soybean yields to be equal to last year when they averaged about 80 sacks per hectare (71 bu/ac). Most of the soybeans should be harvested by February 10th allowing enough time to plant safrinha corn. If the harvest extends past February 10th, farmers may opt to plant dry beans or winter wheat instead of safrinha corn.

Rio Grande do Sul Soybeans - Emater reported last week that 88% of the soybeans in the state had been planted. The soybean planting pace was aided by several days of variable rainfall across the state earlier last week. The soybeans in the state are 98% germinating and in vegetative development and 2% flowering.

Santa Catarina Soybeans - The soybean production in the state is expected to be down 3% from initial expectations due to dry weather impacting germination and stand establishment.

Minas Gerais Soybeans - The Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Minas Gerais (Aprosoja-MG) estimates that the dry weather that delayed the soybean planting in the state will result in soybean yields 5% below last year. During the 2019/20 growing season, the statewide soybean yield was 62 sacks per hectare (55.4 bu/ac), but this year, Aprosoja-MG is expecting a statewide yield of 59 sacks per hectare (52.7 bu/ac). If the rainfall continues to be irregular, the yield losses may be as high as 10%, but it is too early to be certain about any potential losses.