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February 2, 2011

Parana Farmers Shift from Full Season Corn to Safrinha Corn

Farmers in Parana are going down the same path as farmers in Mato Grosso by reducing their full season corn acreage in favor of increasing their safrinha corn acreage. With the high corn prices this year, there is even more incentive to increase safrinha corn production.

The Secretary of Agriculture in Parana estimates that farmers in the state will plant 1.5 million hectares of safrinha corn, which would be 11% more than what was planted in 2010. The early safrinha planting is already underway in areas where dry beans have been harvested. Approximately 3% of the safrinha corn has been planted and the vast majority will be planted after the early maturing soybeans are harvested.

Instead of planting full season corn, Parana farmers are shifting more of their corn production to the safrinha crop. Full season corn acreage in Parana declined 20% in 2010/11 to just 735,000 hectares, which is the lowest since the 1960's. During the 2010/11 growing season more than twice as much corn in Parana will be planted as safrinha corn than as full season corn.

safrinha corn acreage continues to increase in Parana at the expense of planting wheat. Wheat has always been a difficult crop to grow and market in Brazil due to low prices and poor quality grain. The main problem with wheat is the potential for heavy rains at the time the wheat is being harvested and the resulting poor quality of the grain.