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February 3, 2011

Brazilian Farmers Anxious to Plant Their Safrinha Corn Crop

Farmers in Mato Grosso as well as Goias are gearing up to work day and night to harvest their early maturing soybeans and to plant their safrinha corn. The late planting of the soybeans and the rain-delayed start to the soybean harvest, is pushing the planting of the safrinha corn to much later than normal. It's generally accepted that the planting window for safrinha corn in central Brazil closes about February 20th, but this year, farmers will be planting their safrinha corn well into the month of March.

Late planted safrinha corn needs an extended rainy season in order to insure enough moisture for grain filling and that is exactly what Brazilian meteorologists are predicting. Since the rainy season started later than normal this growing season, the Brazilian National Weather Service is predicting that it will end later than normal as well. In 2010, the last rain in Mato Grosso fell during the first week of April and it remained hot and dry for the next six months. If the rains would end at the same time in 2011, the late plated corn could be severely impacted by dry weather.

The Mato Grosso Soybean and Corn Producers Association (Aprosoja) feels the safrinha corn acreage in 2011 will be similar to 2010 when 1.94 million hectares were planted. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) feel the acreage will decline to 1.77 million hectares.

Imea reported that 21,300 hectares of safrinha corn has been planted in the state, which is 10% less than at the start of February 2010. The most planting has occurred in north-central Mato Grosso where 1.6% has been planted followed by western Mato Grosso at 1.4%. Last year at this time 11% and 18% had been planted respectively.