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December 26, 2014

Early Soybean Harvest started in Mato Grosso before Christmas

Even before the Christmas presents were unwrapped, some farmers in western Mato Grosso were harvesting the first soybeans of the 204/15 growing season in Brazil. The early harvest activity was reported in the city of Campos de Julio last Friday on December 19th. The harvested soybeans were planted on September 15th, which was the first day that soybeans were allowed to be planted after the expiration of the 90-day soybean free period in the state.

The early yield reports were very impressive in the range of 59 to 60 sacks per hectare (3,540 to 3,600 kg/ha or 51 to 52.5 bu/ac). Usually, these extra-early maturing soybeans have a yield potential about 30% less than full-maturity soybeans due to the shortened life cycle. The farmers are attributing the high yields to the near perfect weather and a lack of disease and insect pressure. Three applications of insecticides were applied to the first harvested fields which was adequate to control the various pests.

Even though the early harvest has started in Mato Grosso, the volume of soybeans harvested over the next several weeks will be very small. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is estimating that farmers in the state will harvest 5.9% of their 2014/15 soybean crop by the end of January, which is slower than normal. Approximately two-thirds of the soybeans in the state will be harvested between February 15th and March 7th. The soybean harvest in the state will be completed in early April.

The farmer who harvested the first soybeans stated that he is going to store the soybeans and wait for improved prices and that the early harvested soybeans will probably be followed by a second crop of corn or dry beans.