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January 17, 2013

Heavy Rains Start to Worry Farmers in Central Mato Grosso

Farmers in central Mato Grosso are hoping that the recent wet weather will subside soon allowing them an opportunity to start harvesting their early maturing soybeans. Many farmers in Mato Grosso apply desiccants to their early maturing soybeans in order to accelerate the maturation process and if these desiccated soybeans are left in the wet weather for too long without being harvested, the quality of the seed can start to deteriorate.

That is what has already started to occur in the municipality of Sapezal, which is located in western Mato Grosso. Days of constant rainfall have resulted in soybeans sprouting in the pods and lower yields. The deterioration has only occurred in a small percentage of the early maturing soybeans, but if the wet weather persists, the amount of sprouted soybeans would increase.

In the municipality of Sorriso, which is located in central Mato Grosso, there have not been any reports as of yet of lower yields or poor seed quality due to the wet weather, but that could change though if the wet pattern persists for more than another week.

Early yield results in Sorriso, which is the largest soybean producing municipality in Brazil, are in the range of 54 sacks per hectare (3,240 kg/ha or 47 bu/ac), which is considered very good for early maturing soybeans. Farmers are expecting the yields to increase to 58 or 60 sacks per hectare when the later maturing soybeans are harvested (3,480 to 3,600 kg/ha or 50 to 52 bu/ac).

As of a week ago, the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) estimated that 3% of the soybeans in Sorriso had been harvested and that statewide, 1% of the soybeans have been harvested. Conab estimated last week that the 2012/13 Brazilian soybean crop will total 82.6 million tons, which would propel Brazil past the United States as the world's largest soybean producer. Leadership in soybean production could go back and forth between Brazil and the United States over the next few years depending on which country had the better growing season, but eventually Brazil will assume the role as the leading producer on a permanent basis.