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February 6, 2020

2019/20 Soybean Harvest Pace in Brazil Slower than Last Year

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

The weather last week in Brazil was variable with some rains in southern Brazil and mostly dry weather in northeastern Brazil. The forecast for this week is a return of rains to northeastern Brazil and dryer weather in southern Brazil.

The dryness concerns in northeastern Brazil have been mostly resolved by the recent rains. Even though the soybeans were planted later than normal in northeastern Brazil, the recent rains have been very beneficial. The only area where dryness is a concern is now far southern Brazil especially the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The early soybean yields in Brazil are mostly positive, but it is not 100%. Some of the early planted soybeans were impacted by dry weather, but the yields of the later planted soybeans are expected to be better.

According to AgRural, the 2019/20 soybeans in Brazil were 9% harvested late last week compared to 19% for the previous year and 9.8% average. Mato Grosso is the most advanced with 26% harvested, while most of the other states are just getting started.

Mato Grosso - The soybean harvest in Mato Grosso is 26.6% compared to 37.3% last year and 21.2% average. This represents an advance of 12% for the week. The most advanced harvest pace is in western Mato Grosso where 39% of the soybeans have been harvested. The slowest pace is in northeast Mato Grosso where 10.8% have been harvested.

In the municipality of Lucas do Rio Verde, which is located in south-central Mato Grosso, the President of the local Rural Syndicate indicated that 90% of the soybeans have been harvested with better than expected yields. Farmers were worried that dry weather at the start of the growing season would impact the yields, but some yields are being reported as high as 60 sacks per hectare (53.2 bu/ac). Farmers are now quickly planting their safrinha corn and they are expecting a good corn crop.

In the municipality of Nova Mutum, which is located in south-central Mato Grosso, the soybean harvest is 35-40% and yields are variable. Some yields are below those of last year and some are better than last year. The President of the local Rural Syndicate is expecting soybean yields to be 1-2 sacks per hectare 0.8 to 1.7 bu/ac) better than last year's average of 57 sacks per hectare (50.6 bu/ac).

Parana - The soybeans in Parana are 2% harvested compared to approximately 20% last year. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) rates the soybeans as 2% poor, 9% average, and 89% good. Early yields are variable because the early planted soybeans encountered dry weather earlier in the growing season. The yields of the later planted soybeans are expected to be better. The total soybean production in the state is expected to be much better than last year's drought impacted crop.

Rio Grande do Sul - The state of Rio Grande do Sul will probably end up with the lowest yielding soybeans of any state in Brazil. High temperatures and irregular rains during December and January impacted the development of the soybeans. The President of the Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Rio Grande do Sul (Aprosoja/RS) estimates that the soybean production in the state could be down as much as 20% from initial expectations. If verified, it could mean a potential loss of 3 million tons from the 19 million tons that was expected at the start of the growing season.

Mato Grosso do Sul - The president of Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Mato Grosso do Sul (Aprosoja MS) is optimistic that soybean yields in the state will not as bad as feared earlier in the growing season. The rainfall during September, October, and November was below average, but the rains improved in December and January. He feels the statewide soybean yield will be in the range of 52 sacks per hectare (46 bu/ac). The early soybean harvest is getting started late due to the delayed planting and the harvest will extend until mid-March. Farmers have already sold 50% of their anticipated soybean production for good prices.

In the municipality of Caarapo, which is located in southern Mato Grosso do Sul, the soybean yields are expected to be in the range of 50-60 sacks per hectare (44.4 to 53.2 bu/ac). In the municipality of Chapadao do Sul, which is located in northern Mato Grosso do Sul, the average soybean yield is expected in the range of 60 sacks per hectare (53.2 bu/ac) and farmers are actively planting their safrinha cotton and corn.

Sao Paulo - In the municipality of Candido Mota, which is located in southern Sao Paulo, the soybeans are approximately 20% harvested and the early yields are below expectations. Currently farmers are harvesting soybeans planted in September (about 40% of the total) and yields are running 30% below last year due to dry weather earlier in the growing season. For the 60% of the soybeans planted in October, yields are expected to be better, but the crop currently needs rain after at least two weeks of dry weather. Farmers are currently slow sellers due to the uncertainty of their production.