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January 15, 2016

Early Soybean Harvest in Parana Slowed by Wet Weather

Persistent wet weather is causing concern for farmers in Parana wanting to start harvesting their early maturing soybeans. A few farmers in the southwestern and western part of the state started harvesting about two weeks ago, but there has been slow progress due to the wet weather.

Technicians from the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) are in the field assessing the situation and their main concern is the possibility of poor seed quality. There have already been reports of soybeans sprouting in the pods due to the saturated conditions. Usually, drought cause much more extensive losses than wet weather, but wet weather during harvest can be a problem in Brazil. The peak of the soybean harvest in Parana will occur during the last week of January and the first two weeks of February. The soybean harvest has been getting earlier in recent years as farmers plant more early maturing soybeans in order to allow enough time to plant a second crop of corn. Delays in planting the safrinha corn can expose the crop to potential freezing temperatures in May or June.

Deral is estimating that the state planted 5.2 million hectares of soybeans or 3% more than last year. They estimate that the average yield will be 3,438 kg/ha (49.8 bu/ac), which would be 4% more than last year. The total production is estimated at 18 million tons or a 7% increase over the 2014/15 crop. As of January 11th, 56% of the soybeans in the state were filling pods and 87% of the crop was rated in good condition.