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February 26, 2014

Harvest Progress in Brazil Slowed by Wet Weather

Farmers in Brazil are trying to harvest their soybeans in between the showers that have been falling especially in Mato Grosso. Approximately one third of Brazil's soybeans have been harvested with the highest percentage in the states of Mato Grosso and Parana where 45-50% have been harvested. In Mato Grosso the slowest harvest has been in the north-central part of the state, which is also the area of greatest concentration of safrinhacorn production. Farmers cannot plant their second crop of corn until after the soybeans have been harvested.

Producers in Mato Grosso are worried that the excessive rains during harvest will reduce their soybean yields and lower the seed quality as well. In addition to harvest delays, the heavy rains have washed out rural roads and bridges as well as interrupting traffic along the major highways in the state. Flood waters from a broken dam washed out one lane of traffic on highway BR-163 in central Mato Grosso last Saturday morning. Only one lane will be open for several months while repairs are made and truck traffic will be backed up for hours in both directions. This is the only major highway running north and south in central Mato Grosso and it is the main exit route for soybeans that will be exported from Brazil's southern ports.

The farmers in Parana are also in the midst of harvesting their 2013/14 soybean crop and reporting lower than expected soybean yields due to the dry weather during January and early February. The soybean harvest in Brazil is most advanced in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul where 70% of the crop has been harvested. safrinhacorn planting in Mato Grosso do Sul is 52% complete while 60% of the safrinhacorn has been planted in Mato Grosso.

In the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul where the crop was planted later, farmers have yet to start harvesting their soybeans, but they too are concerned about dry weather and its impact on the crop. There are reports from the state of inadequate pod filling and farmers are being advised to split open the pods for inspection instead of relying on just a visual inspection.

The total soybean exports out of Brazil during the month of February are expected to surpass 2 million tons which would be a record for the month.