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February 28, 2019

Soybean Yields improving in Parana, but total Crop Still down 15%

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

After a disastrous first half of the 2018/19 soybean harvest, farmers in the state of Parana are reporting better yields for their later maturing soybeans. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) reported earlier this week that 51% of the 2018/19 soybean crop in the state had been harvested compared to 27% last year at this time. This represented an advance of 9% for the week.

The earlier maturing soybeans were severely impacted by hot and dry weather during December and early January when the crop was filling pods. As a result, the yields were down as much as 30-40% and highly variable. The later maturing soybeans benefited from improved rainfall that started during the second half of January and continues to the present time. The improved yields from the later maturing soybeans is expected to compensate in part for the very poor yields from the early maturing soybeans.

Deral now estimates that the soybean production in the state will be down 15% compared to last year to 16.3 million tons. With the lower production from the 2018/19 soybean crop, Parana will now slip into third place as a leading soybean producing state in Brazil behind Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul.

The advanced harvest pace is the result of record fast soybean planting back in September and October when the weather was nearly ideal. Starting in December, the rains stopped and the temperatures soared just as the early maturing soybeans were filling pods. For the last two weeks, the rainfall has been above normal for nearly all the state and the forecast is calling for continued good rains for the next two weeks.

The rapid soybean harvest has also allowed for a rapid planting of the safrinha corn crop. Deral reported that 73% of the safrinha corn had been planted compared to 42% last year. Deral is estimating that the safrinha corn crop will be 12.7 million tons, which would be an increase of 39% compared to last year. Farmers in the state have currently harvested 32% of their 2018/19 full-season corn crop.

Deral is estimating that the 2018/19 full-season corn crop in Parana will produce 3 million tons, which would equate to only 20% of the state's total corn production. The safrinha corn crop would account for 80% of the state's corn production.