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February 21, 2020

Brazilian Farmers Actively Planting their Safrinha Corn

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

As Brazilian farmers complete their soybean harvest, many of them are planting their second crop of corn as quickly as possible. The ideal planting window for the safrinha corn generally closes about the end of February. The later the corn is planted in central Brazil, the greater the risk for the onset of dry weather before the crop matures. The later the corn is planted in south-central Brazil, the greater the risk for frost before the crop matures.

According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), farmers in Mato Grosso had planted 63% of their intended safrinha corn by the end of last week compared to 74% last year and 52% average. This represented an advance of 24% for the week, which is a good week of planting.

Imea stated that on average, 88% of the safrinha corn in Mato Grosso is planted by the end of February and that farmers in the state should equal that number or surpass it this year.

There has been a strong price incentive for Brazilian farmers to plant as much safrinha corn as possible. Available corn supplies are very tight and the price for corn in Mato Grosso increased 1.9% last week to R$ 38.42 per sack (approximately $4.20 per bushel).

The state of Parana is the second leading safrinha corn producing state in Brazil and the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) estimates that farmers in the state had planted 32% of their safrinha corn acreage by earlier this week.

The state of Mato Grosso is the largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil responsible for approximately 38% of the planted acreage followed by Parana at 17%, Mato Grosso do Sul at 14%, Goias at 11%, and Sao Paulo at 3.8%.

Given the current planting pace, an estimated 50% of the safrinha corn in Brazil should be planted during the ideal planting window, another 30% should be planted somewhat late, and the last 20% should be planted extra late, but those percentages will depend on the weather over the next three weeks. Generally, Brazilian farmers will not plant their safrinha corn past about March 10th to March 15th.