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February 11, 2020

2019/20 Brazilian Soybeans 15.7% Harvested, about Average

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

ARC Mercosul estimated the 2019/20 Brazilian soybean harvest last Friday at 15.7% compared to 27.3% last year and 16.2% average. The most advanced harvest is in Mato Grosso where 44.5% of the soybeans have been harvested.

The weather in Brazil continues to be generally favorable for the soybean crop with the one exception of far southern Brazil where dry weather continues to be a concern especially in Rio Grande do Sul, but localized rains in the state over the past month have helped the soybean development according to Emater, which is the state's extension service.

There have been some concerns that the wet weather in central Brazil might start to jeopardize soybean yields and quality, but I don't see that as a major issue at the present time. In fact, the soybean harvest in Mato Grosso increased 17.8% last week to 44.5% compared to the average of 31.7%.

Rio Grande do Sul - The soybeans in the state are 24% in vegetative development, 33% flowering, 42% filling pods, and 1% mature. The majority of soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are produced in the northern half of the state where yields are typically in the range of 65 sacks per hectare (57.7 bu/ac). A minority of the soybeans are produced in the southern half of the state where yields are more in the range of 45 sacks per hectare (40 bu/ac). The weather this growing season has been better in the northern half of the state and hotter and dryer in the southern half of the state.

Yields will be down across the state and the President of the Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Rio Grande do Sul (Aprosoja/RS) stated that he felt the state's soybean production might be closer to 16 million tons than the original 19 million tons estimated at the start of the growing season.

Mato Grosso - According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the soybean harvest in Mato Grosso is 44.5% compared to 53.2% last year and 31.7% average. This represents an advance of 17.8% for the week, which is a good week of harvesting. The most advanced harvest is in the mid-north and western regions where approximately 61% of the soybeans have been harvested. The slowest harvest is northeastern Mato Grosso where 21% of the soybeans have been harvested.

Imea is now estimating a record soybean yield for Mato Grosso of 57.7 sacks per hectare (51.2 bu/ac), which is about 0.5 sacks per hectare (0.4 bu/ac) above the prior record set in 2017/18. They estimate the production at 34.01 million tons. Imea is estimating the soybean acreage at 9.82 million hectares (24.2 million acres) compared to 9.67 million hectares in 2018/19.

In the municipality of Feliz Natal, which is located in the northern part of the state, the soybeans are 50% harvested and yields are averaging as high as 70 sacks per hectare (62 bu/ac) compared to prior years when they averaged 45 to 50 sacks per hectare (40 to 44.4 bu/ac).

In the municipality of Lucas do Rio Verde, which is located in south-central Mato Grosso, the soybean harvest is essentially complete. The President of the local Rural Syndicate estimates the yields between 60 and 62 sacks per hectare (53.2 to 55.0 bu/ac), which is better than in recent years. As a result of the quick soybean harvest, all the safrinha corn in Lucas do Rio Verde should be planted within the ideal planting window.

Parana - The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) estimates that 4% of the soybeans have been harvested and that another 26% is mature. Deral rates the soybeans as 1% poor, 8% average, and 91% good.

Minas Gerais - Farmers in the state are starting to harvest some of their early maturing soybeans and the harvest pace should pick up this week and extend through March. The season started out dry, but conditions have improved. The President of the Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Minas Gerais (Aprosoja/MG) is expecting soybean yields in the range of 60 sacks per hectare (53.2 bu/ac). He feels that the best soybean prices have probably passed, but they are still good in the range of R$ 76 and R$ 80 sacks per hectare (approximately $8.40 to $8.90 per bushel).

Santa Catarina - The Secretary of Agriculture in the state estimates that dry weather especially in the southern part of the state will result in a 4.2% decline in the state's soybean production compared to what was anticipated at the start of the growing season.