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February 17, 2016

Brazil Soybean Harvest 16% Complete

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

Soybean yields in Brazil are gradually creeping higher as expected as the harvest moves into the medium maturing soybeans. The last major area of Brazil where the soybean yields could still be impacted by the weather is northeastern Brazil. This area accounts for approximately 10% of Brazil's soybean production and the soybeans are now flowering and starting to set pods. The month of February has already been dryer than normal in the region and the rest of the month also is forecasted to be hotter and dryer than normal, so this is the area to watch in Brazil.

Mato Grosso - The soybean harvest in Mato Grosso is approximately 20% complete and the yields continue to be variable. Central Mato Grosso was the hardest hit by the dry weather in November and December and Aprosoja-MT is reporting that their members indicated that some fields were so bad that the soybeans were abandoned and the field was planted to corn, while other members are reporting yields in the mid-50 bushel range. Aprosoja-MT is estimating that the soybean production in Mato Grosso will be down 1.25 million tons compared to their earlier estimates. Due to the highly variable yields, the final production in Mato Grosso won't be known until the last field is harvested.

In the municipality of Sorriso, which is the largest soybean producing municipality in Brazil, the harvest is 44% complete and the average soybean yield is currently running at 49 sacks per hectare (42.6 bu/ac) with some yields below 30 sacks per hectare (26 bu/ac). The eventual production in the municipality is expected to be down 15% when the harvest is complete.

Farmers in Mato Grosso have already sold 61% of their anticipated soybean production because they sold a lot of their soybeans last August and September when the Brazilian currency had a significant devaluation. They sold another batch of soybeans in January when the currency weakened again.

Parana - The soybean crop in Parana is 25-30% harvested. The early harvest progress was slowed down by wet weather, but the weather has turned dryer recently allowing for more rapid harvest progress.

Rio Grande do Sul - Many farmers in Rio Grande do Sul are expecting lower than anticipated soybean yields due to the adverse weather during the growing season. It started off with excessive rains during November that delayed planting and resulted in germination issues. In January, the weather turned hot and dry for several weeks while the soybeans were flowering and setting pods resulting in a lot of flower abortion. The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are now 17% in vegetative development, 36% flowering, 45% filling pods, and 2% mature.

Mato Grosso do Sul - The soybean crop in the state is a mixed bag. The weather in the state during the growing season ranged from good to excessively wet. The soybean harvest in Chapadao do Sul in northern Mato Grosso do Sul is 8% complete, which is about 15 days slower than last year. The average soybean yield thus far in the region is 55 sacks per hectare (47.8 bu/ac). When the harvest moves into the later maturing soybeans, the yields are expected to increase to approximately 60 sacks per hectare (52.2 bu/ac).

The delayed soybean harvest is also delaying the planting of the safrinha corn which is expected to decline 15% in acreage compared to last year. Farmers are expected to reduce their acreage so they can concentrate their inputs in a smaller area to maximize yield potential. Corn prices in the area are very attractive in the range of R$ 38.00 per sack.