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February 19, 2019

Improved Weather in Brazil Stabilizes Soybean Crop

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

The weather in Brazil has generally been improving over the last two weeks and the near term forecast looks beneficial as well. The improved rainfall should benefit the later maturing soybeans as well as the start of the safrinha corn crop. Previously I had been lowering the Brazilian soybean estimate on nearly a weekly basis, but now it looks like we are in a more stable environment.

The Brazilian soybean crop is 36% harvested compared to 17% last year and 19% for the 5-year average according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 10% for the week. The soybean harvest pace slowed a bit last week due to the increased rainfall across much of Brazil.

Soybean yields across Brazil have improved a little as the harvest moved into some of the later maturing soybeans, but they are still well below last year's yields and they continue to be highly variable.

Mato Grosso -The soybean harvest in Mato Grosso continues to move along at a record pace with 68.7% of the soybeans harvested compared to 45% last year and 43% for the 5-year average. This represents an advance of 15.5% for the week. The fastest harvest pace in in the mid-north where 81% of the soybeans have been harvested, while the slowest is the northeastern part of the state where 45% of the soybeans have been harvested.

In the municipality of Sorriso, which is the largest soybean producing municipality in Brazil, the soybeans are over 80% harvested and the majority of producers are estimating that their soybean yields are down approximately 10% compared to last year according to the director of the Syndicate of Rural Producers of Sorriso.

Areas of Mato Grosso received very heavy rains over this past weekend. In the city of Sapezal, which is located in western Mato Grosso, they received 9 inches or rain over the weekend. Other areas of the state received 2-5 inches and there is more rain in the forecast. These heavy rains may delay the final soybean harvest and they could result in some replanting of the safrinha corn and cotton crops.

Parana - As of a week ago, farmers in Parana had harvested 33% of their soybeans according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). This compared to just 9% harvested last year at this time.

Rio Grande do Sul - The soybean harvest has not yet started in Rio Grande do Sul because the soybeans are always plated later in the state. Recent rains in the state could still help the later developing soybeans.

Mato Grosso do Sul - Conab is estimating the statewide soybean yield at 52.5 sacks per hectare (46.6 bu/ac), which would be down 12% from last year and the lowest yield in three years. The 2017/18 crop yielded 59.8 sacks per hectare (53.1 bu/ac) and the 2016/17 crop yielded 56.6 sacks per hectare (50.2 bu/ac). The lower yield is the result of hot and dry weather during December and part of January,

In the municipality of Chapadao do Sul, which is located in northeastern Mato Grosso do Sul, the soybeans are 50% harvested. The later maturing soybeans are yielding better than the early maturing soybeans, which will compensate somewhat for the very disappointing early yields. Yields in the municipality are now expected to be down 6% to 10%, whereas the yields of the early maturing soybeans were much worse.

Bahia - Recent rains in western Bahia have helped to stabilize the crop after extended periods of hot and dry weather during January. Those farmers who received the showers should probably expect trend-line yields of approximately 54 to 56 sacks per hectare (48 to 50 bu/ac). In areas that missed some of the earlier rains, yields may be down as much as 20%.