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February 16, 2017

Brazil Soybean Harvest Progress Uneven due to Variable Weather

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

The soybean harvest progress in Brazil has been uneven due to the variable weather. Mato Grosso for example was on a near record harvest pace until recent heavy rains moved into the state. On the other hand, the soybean harvest pace in Parana has been extremely slow due to wet weather.

Mato Grosso - By the end of last week, farmers in Mato Grosso had harvested approximately 47% of their soybeans compared to 25% a year earlier, but heavy rains over the weekend and earlier this week have slowed the harvest progress. This is especially true in western Mato Grosso.

In the municipality of Campo Novo do Parecis, which is located in the western part of the state, some farmers received 300 mm of rain (12 inches) in 48 hours resulting in localized flooding. Very heavy rains have also been recorded in the municipalities of Sapezal, Campos de Julio, Diamantino, Brasnorte, and Tangara da Serra. Prior to the recent rains, some farmers in Campo Novo do Parecis had expected to harvest up to 70 sacks per hectare (61 bu/ac), but now they feel they may have lost 3-4 bu/ac due to lighter weight seed and moldy seed. There are also reports of some seed sprouting in the pods in the fields that have been waiting the longest to be harvested.

Safrinha corn planting in the state was progressing well ahead of schedule until the recent heavy rains kept planters out of the field. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is now estimating that 46% of the safrinha corn has been planted compared to 26% last year and 38% average. In areas that were flooded by the recent rains, some of the safrinha corn and cotton may now have to be replanted.

Parana - Of the major soybean planting states in Brazil, Parana is by far the furthest behind in harvesting soybeans. Parana differs from other areas of Brazil such as the center-west where the soybean harvest is well advanced. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) reported on Tuesday that farmers in Parana have harvested 15% of their 2016/17 soybean crop compared to 6% last week and 41% last year at this time.

They have also planted 40% of their intended safrinha corn crop compared to 23% last week, but behind the 60% that had been planted last year at this time.

Mato Grosso do Sul - The soybean harvest in southern Mato Grosso do Sul is basically paralyzed due to wet weather. The city of Dourados and surrounding areas of southern Mato Grosso do Sul have received nearly 200 mm of rainfall (8 inches) during the first 13 days of February. That is nearly double what is expected for the entire month of February. About half of the soybeans in the region have been harvested and farmers are waiting for dryer weather to resume harvesting.

Approximately 10% of the soybeans in the state have been harvested compared to 25% last year at this time. There have not been many reports of poor quality seed as yet, but continued wet weather could result in lighter weight seed and moldy seed.

Goias - In the region of Jatai in southwestern Goias farmers have harvested approximately 40% of their soybeans in-between rains. The rains this week have been scattered enough to allow a pick up in the harvest pace. The yields are averaging about 55 sacks per hectare or 47.8 bu/ac. This is much different than last year when hot and dry weather negatively impacted the crop. Farmers are also planting their safrinha corn as quickly as possible and all the corn should be planted within the ideal window which closes February 20-25.

Current domestic soybean prices in Jatai are in the range of R$ 64.00 to R$ 65.00 per sack or approximately $9.40 to $9.50 per bushel. Farmers who have not sold their soybeans are afraid that they may have "missed the boat" because several months ago, the soybean prices were in the range of R$ 80.00 per sack or $11.75 per bushel.

Current corn prices in the region are R$ 21.00 to R$ 22.00 per sack or $3.10 to $3.25 per bushel. At these prices, farmers feel they will need very good corn yields in order to generate a profit on their safrinha corn production.