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February 12, 2019

Some of the Best Rains of the Summer last Week in Central Brazil

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

There were rains last week across central Brazil from Mato Grosso eastward through Goias, Minas Gerais, and Bahia and there are more rains in the forecast. The rainfall last week across central Brazil was probably some of the best in the last several months. The weather was mostly dry last week in southern Brazil.

The 2018/19 soybean crop in Brazil is 26% harvested compared to 10% last year and 12% for the 5-year average, according to AgRural.

The vast majority of yield reports thus far have been disappointing and highly variable. Virtually every major soybean producing state in Brazil will have lower yields compared to last year. The recent rainfall in Brazil has been improving, but only about half of the crop could be helped by the improved conditions.

Mato Grosso - The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported last Friday that 53% of the soybeans had been harvested compared to 28% last year at this time and 32% for the 5-year average. For the week, the soybean harvest advanced 15%. The most advanced harvest is in western Mato Grosso where 68% of the soybeans are harvested, while the slowest harvest is in northeastern Mato Grosso where 29% have been harvested.

Imea released their third assessment of the 2018/19 soybean crop last week. They lowered their estimate by 0.55 million tons to 31.9 million with a planted acreage of 9.62 million hectares (23.7 million acres). They cited high temperatures and below normal rainfall during the month of December as the reason for the lower estimate. They are now estimating the statewide soybean yield at 55.7 sacks per hectare (49.4 bu/ac), which is 2.7% below last year's record yield. The soybean acreage increased 1.6% compared to last year, but the production is now down 1.8% compared to last year.

In the municipality of Sapezal, which is located in western Mato Grosso, the soybean harvest is approaching 70% complete and yields are down in the range of 10% to 20% compared to last year. Farmers in the region have already planted their safrinha cotton and they are working on planting their safrinha corn.

In the municipality of Nova Xavantina, which is located in east-central Mato Grosso, 10% of the soybeans have been harvested and yields are in the range of 44 to 50 sacks per hectare (39 to 44 bu/ac), compared to 60-61 sacks per hectare last year (53 to 54 bu/ac). Farmers are in the process of planting their safrinha corn and they are expecting a good corn crop.

Parana - The Department of Rural Economics for the state of Parana (Deral) reported last Tuesday that 25% of the soybeans in the state had been harvested compared to 0% last year at this time. They rated the soybean crop as 6% poor, 26% average, and 68% good.

In the municipality of Guaira, which is located in northwestern Parana, the soybeans are 85% harvested and the losses are in the range of 40% to 45%. This was one of the driest and hottest areas in the state during December and January. Approximately 75% of the safrinha corn in the municipality has been planted and farmers are already expressing concerns about dry conditions impacting the early corn development.

The Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Parana (Aprosoja-PR), is estimating the average soybean loss in the state at 30% with some loses as high as 60%. They also indicated that the safrinha corn is already encountering problems due to dry conditions, leaf eating worms and stink bugs.

Rio Grande do Sul - Soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are some of the last soybeans planted in Brazil and the crop is now 52% filling pods. The soybeans in the state are developing fine except for the prior flooded areas in the southwestern part of the state. The Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Rio Grande do Sul (Aprosoja-RS) is estimating that the state's soybean yields will be down 6% from original expectations due to excess moisture in the southern half of the state.

Goias - Farmers in Goias have harvested 30% of their soybean crop according to AgRural. The Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Goias (Aprosoja-GO) estimates that the soybean production in the state will be down 17% to 20% compared to their initial estimate of 11.8 million tons at the start of the growing season. Hot and dry weather during December and January was the problem. The early maturing soybean varieties were most impacted. In southwestern Goias, farmers are reporting disappointing and highly variable yields in the range of 25 to 85 sacks per hectare (22 to 75 bu/ac). In southern Goias yields range from 30 to 64 sacks per hectare (26 to 57 bu/ac) and in eastern Goias near Brasilia, loses are in the range of 15% to 30%.

The soybeans in northern Goias are planted later and the weather has been better in the northern part of the state. Yields in the region are still expected to be highly variable.

Bahia - In the municipality of Luis Eduardo Magalhaes, which is located in western Bahia, some areas went 40 days without rain. Farmers in the region were hoping for soybean yields in the range of 76 sacks per hectare (67 bu/ac), but they are afraid that loses could be as high as 15%. The soybean harvest in the region is just getting started. The region received good rains over the weekend, which could help to stem the losses.

Minas Gerais - The president of the Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Minas Gerais (Aprosoja/MG) estimates that the soybean yields will be down 20% to 30% in general, with higher localized losses. In the municipality of Capinopolis, which is located in western Minas Gerais, the soybean yields last year were in the range of 78 sacks per hectare (69 bu/ac), but this year, yields of 40 sacks per hectare are more common (35 bu/ac) with some as low as 30 sacks per hectare (26 bu/ac).

Farmers in the region have been very slow to forward contract their 2018/19 soybean production. Normally, they would have forward contracted 50% to 60% of their soybeans by this time of the year, but this year they have only contracted approximately 20% of their soybeans. Farmers in the region contend that they need a yield of 60 sacks per hectare (53 bu/ac) in order to cover their costs if the soybean price is R$ 70.00 per sack (approximately $8.60 per bushel).