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February 3, 2020

Farmers in Bahia Starting to Harvest their Irrigated Soybeans

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

The state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil is the largest soybean producing state in the region. Almost all the soybeans in the state are planted in the western part of the state centered on the city of Luis Eduardo Magalhaes. The President of the Rural Syndicate of Luis Eduardo Magalhaes indicated late last week that some of the early planted irrigated soybeans are already being harvested.

There is a portion of the soybeans in western Bahia that are irrigated and farmers with irrigation generally plant their soybeans much earlier during September and October. Farmers without irrigation must wait for the start of the summer rains before they plant their soybeans. Unfortunately, the start of the rains was delayed this growing season with very dry weather during November and December. The rainfall improved in early January allowing farmers to finish planting their soybeans later than normal.

While some of the irrigated soybeans are being harvested, the non-irrigated soybeans will not be ready for harvest until the end of February. Normally, the soybean harvest in the state is complete by the end of March, but this year, it won't be complete until mid-April.

Even with the delayed start to planting, farmers in the region are hoping that their soybean yields will be equal to last year when the average yield was in the range of 74 sacks per hectare (65.7 bu/ac).

Now that farmers are more confidant of their potential soybean production, they are forward contracting more of their anticipated production in the range of R$ 78 to R$ 82 per sack (approximately $8.80 to $9.25 per bushel).