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February 28, 2011

Delayed Safrinha Corn Planting in Parana

The acreage of full season corn production in Parana declined in 2010/11 while safrinha corn acreage in the state increased. Soybean harvesting in the state is proceeding at a slower pace than in 2009/10 and it may force farmers to plant their safrinha corn crop later than normal. The combination of late planting of the soybeans, a rain-delayed soybean harvest, and increased acreage for harvesting, may push the planting of the safrinha corn past the ideal planting window for safrinha corn, which in Parana closes about March 20th.

It is estimated that farmers in the state will plant 1.5 million hectares of safrinha corn, which is approximately twice as much acreage as was planted to full season corn in the state. If heavy rains continue to delay the soybean harvest and the planting of the safrinha corn, it would be difficult to get all the corn planted within the appropriate window. As a result, the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as state officials, has authorized the extension of the planting window for farmers so they would not violate planting requirements of any existing programs.

If the farmers in the state cannot plant their safrinha corn before the end of March, there is the possibility that they may not plant all their intended safrinha corn acreage and the corn that is planted may have lower yields. Cold weather can occur in the State as early as the month of June and if the corn is planted too late, cold weather or even frost could disrupt the ear filling process and result in significant yield losses. The total safrinha corn production in the state is estimated at 6.6 million tons or about 30% of the total safrinha corn crop in Brazil.