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February 14, 2012

Dry Weather Allows Rapid Soybean Harvest in Central Brazil

A week of dryer weather has allowed the soybean farmers in central Brazil to accelerate their soybean harvest pace. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the percent of Mato Grosso's soybeans that are harvested doubled last week from 12% to 25%.

The most advanced region of the state is the municipality of Sapezal, which is located in western Mato Grosso, where farmers have already harvested 48% of their soybeans. A lot of the soybeans that were planted in this region were early-maturing varieties because the farmers generally plant a second crop of cotton or corn after the soybeans are harvested.

The soybean harvest is also advancing quickly in central Mato Grosso where 41% of the soybeans in the municipality of Sorriso have been harvested and 32% of the soybeans in Lucas do Rio Verde are harvested. In their latest monthly estimate, Conab is estimating that the statewide soybean yield in 2011/12 will be the same as last year, 3,190 kg/ha or 46.2 bu/ac.

Mato Grosso farmers also used the dryer weather to greatly advance the planting of the safrinha corn crop. Statewide, Imea estimates that 42% of the 2.2 million hectares of safrinha corn has been planted whereas a week ago only 12% had been planted. The most advanced corn planting is in the municipality of Sorriso where 60% of the 300,000 hectares of safrinha corn have already been planted.

In the state of Goias, some farmers are reporting soybean yields lower than expected due to dry weather earlier in the growing season and heavy pest pressure. Farmers are reported to be having a difficult time getting the short and stunted soybean plants across the cutter bar and into the combine. Estimates are that 2.5 bu/ac is being lost in this manner.

Producers in Goias are also reporting that some of the soybean fields are under heavy pest pressure and that two additional applications of insecticides are being required. Each additional application is costing the equivalent of approximately 2.5 to 3.0 sacks per hectare or 2 to 2.5 bushels per acre.