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December 3, 2012

Soybeans Occupy 81% of Summer Grain Acreage in Parana, Brazil

In its monthly crop report, the Secretary of Agriculture for the state of Parana in southern Brazil estimates that the total grain production in the state could be 27% larger in 2012/13 compared to the drought plagued crops of 2011/12. Farmers in the state have essentially completed planting all their summer crops and the major crops such as soybeans and corn are now entering into their critical reproductive phases.

The rainfall across the state thus far this growing season has not been uniform. During the month of October, there were widespread heavy rains in the state, but the month of November turned out to be much dryer. While some regions of the state have received adequate moisture for the developing crops, other regions are reporting significant moisture deficits.

The most important crop in the state is soybeans and farmers are expected to plant 4.62 million hectares of soybeans in 2012/13, which represents 81% of the summer grain acreage in the state. The soybean acreage in the state is expected to be 5% larger than in 2011/12. Seventy five percent of the soybeans in the state will start to flower during the month of December and the soybean production is estimated at 15.19 million tons in 2012/13 compared to 10.83 million tons in 2011/12. Farmers have already forward contracted 35% of their anticipated soybean production compared to 21% last year at this time.

For full-season corn, 100% of the crop has been planted and 85% of the 850,000 hectares of full-season corn will pollinate sometime during the month of December. In the dryer regions of the state, farmers are hoping for improved rainfall during December to insure successful pollination. The full-season corn acreage in the state declined 13% in 2012/13 from the 972,000 hectares planted in 2011/12. Farmers in the state continued to reduce their full-season corn acreage in favor of additional soybeans production, which is a trend that started several years ago.

As part of this overall trend, they are also expected to increase their safrinha corn acreage. The Secretary of Agriculture has not released an official estimate of the 2012/13 safrinha corn acreage, but it is expected to larger than the 2.03 million hectares planted in 2011/12. During the 2011/12 growing season, 46% of the soybean acreage in the state was followed by a second crop of corn.