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January 14, 2016

Safrinha Corn Planting to Start in Brazil Later This Week

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

Farmers in Brazil are expected to start planting their 2016 safrinha corn crop as early as later this week after the first soybeans are harvested. Most of the safrinha corn should be planted by early March although some corn in northeastern Brazil can be planted as late as April. During the 2014/15 growing season, the safrinha corn represented 64% of Brazil's total corn crop.

The name safrinha (which means little harvest in Portuguese) was given to the crop years ago when farmers started planting double crop corn after the soybeans were harvested, but since the 2011/12 growing season, the safrinha corn crop has produced more corn than the traditional first crop of corn as Brazilian farmers planted more soybeans for their first crop.

Agrolink reported that during the 2014/15 growing season, 94% of the safrinha corn was produced in the center-west, southeast, and southern regions of Brazil with Mato Grosso being the number producer followed by Parana. The remaining safrinha corn is produced in northeastern and northern Brazil. In the state of Mato Grosso, the ideal planting window for safrinha corn closes at the end of February and in Parana, it closes in early March. Safrinha corn can be planted later in northeastern Brazil. In the states of Tocantins and Rondonia, the safrinha corn planting starts in February, while in the states of Maranhao and Piaui, the planting starts in March. In far northeastern Brazil, where there are a lot of small family farmers, the planting starts in April.

Brazil's first crop of corn is consumed domestically by the livestock industry in southern Brazil while most of Brazil's corn exports come from the safrinha production. The safrinha corn harvest starts in June and Brazil's corn exports start to ramp up in July and August as the soybean exports start to wind down.