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January 16, 2014

Soybean Harvest Underway in Brazil's two Top Producing States

Harvesting of the 2013/14 Brazilian soybean crop is underway in the two principal producing states of Mato Grosso and Parana. In Mato Grosso the soybean harvest is approximately 2-3% complete with the most advanced harvest in the western regions of the state. In Parana, the soybean harvest is less than 5% complete and most of the advanced harvest is also in the western regions.

Farmers in western Parana are also starting to harvest their early maturing soybeans with some reports of low yields. The problem in western Parana was a three week period of dry weather during December which occurred during the critical pod filling period for the early maturing soybeans. In the hardest hit areas near the Itaipu Lake in western Parana the soybeans are yielding as low as 1,500 kg/ha (22 bu/ac). Fortunately, the driest areas represent a small fraction of the total production in the state. In the remainder of the state yields are expected to be in the range of 2,900 to 3,400 kg/ha (42 to 49 bu/ac).

Across the lake in eastern Paraguay the situation is similar in that the early maturing soybeans were negatively impacted by the hot and dry conditions during December. Rains returned to the area shortly before Christmas and the medium and later maturing soybeans are expected to be normal yielding.

Early yield reports from Mato Grosso indicate the yields of the early-maturing soybeans are coming in above expectations. Farmers have been reporting yields as high as 57-58 sacks per hectare (3,420 to 3,480 kg/ha or 49.5 to 50.5 bu/ac) when normally the yields of these early-maturing soybeans are more in the range of 50-52 sacks per hectare (3,000 to 3,120 kg/ha or 43.5 to 45.2 bu/ac). In the western part of the state, the early harvested soybeans are generally followed by a second crop of cotton whereas in most of the state, the early harvested soybeans are followed by a second crop of corn.