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February 22, 2017

Paraguay Farmers Expecting a Good 2016/17 Soybean Crop

The 2016/17 soybean harvest is underway in Paraguay and farmers are hoping for good yields to compensate for the lower prices they have received over the last several years. According to the president of the Producers Union (UGA), Hector Cristaldo, by the middle of March, the harvest should be complete and farmers in Paraguay may harvest as much as 10 million tons of soybeans this growing season. The USDA is currently estimating the 2016/17 Paraguay soybean production at 9.17 million tons.

The soybean yields in Paraguay are expected to be in the range of 42 to 67 sacks per hectare (36 to 58 bu/ac). In the department of Alto Parana, 5% of the crop is harvested with yields in the range of 53 sacks per hectare (46 bu/ac). In the department of San Pedro where they experienced 20 days of dry weather in November and again in January, yields are in the range of 42 sacks per hectare (36.5 bu/ac),

As soon as the soybeans are harvested, farmers will plant a second crop of corn called the safrinha. The safrinha corn planting is already underway and will accelerate as the soybeans are harvested.

According to the Cereal and Oil Marketing and Exporting Association of Paraguay (Capeco), farmers in Paraguay may plant up to 1.0 million hectares of safrinha corn which would be approximately the same as last year. More and more of South America's corn is being produced as a second crop after soybeans. This is especially true in Brazil where two thirds of Brazil's corn is double cropped after soybeans.

Paraguay has not only been increasing their soybean exports in recent years, they have also increased their exports of soybean oil and soybean meal as well. In 2016, Paraguay increased their soybean oil exports by 9.5% and their soybean meal exports by 2.5%. Soybean exports increased 20% in 2016. These increases are the result of not only increased production, but also increased soybean processing capacity as well.