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February 4, 2021

Slow Start to Safrinha Corn Planting in the State of Mato Grosso

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

Dry weather in Brazil last September and October slowed the soybean planting in Mato Grosso and now wet weather in the state has slowed the initial soybean harvest in the state. As a result, the initial safrinha corn planting has been slowed as well. Farmers in Mato Grosso plant their second crop of corn immediately after the soybeans are harvested, if possible, within the same day. As of late last week, 2% of the safrinha corn in the state had been planted compared to 22% a year earlier according to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea). Mato Grosso is Brazil's largest safrinha corn producing state followed by the state of Parana.

Even with the slow start, Imea is still expecting farmers in Mato Grosso to increase their safrinha corn acreage by 5% to 5.69 million hectares (14.0 million acres). Imea is estimating a statewide corn yield of 106.2 sacks per hectare (101.3 bu/ac) and a total corn production of 36.2 million tons.

The ideal planting window for safrinha corn in the state closes about the third week of February. If the corn is planted after the window has closed, there is a greater risk of the corn running out of moisture before it reaches maturity due to the onset of the annual dry season.

Domestic corn prices are very strong in the state and farmers have already purchased their inputs, so it is expected that farmers will plant all their intended corn even if planting is pushed past the ideal planting window. The cost of production for safrinha corn in Mato Grosso is in the range of $2.00 to $2.25 per bushel and the current price of corn in the state is over $5.00 per bushel. Therefore, it is expected that the strong prices could compensate somewhat for any lower yields resulting from delayed planting.