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January 17, 2020

Brazilian Farmers have Started to Plant their 2020 Safrinha Corn

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

Mato Grosso is the largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil and farmers in the state have started to plant their safrinha corn after their soybeans are harvested. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), farmers had planted 0.4% of their safrinha corn as of late last week compared to 1.4% last year. Planting is getting off to a slower start compared to last year because delays in harvesting the soybeans.

Imea is estimating that the safrinha corn acreage in Mato Grosso will increase 2.4%, but that the yields will decline 4.2% resulting in a production decline of 2% compared to last year. Imea's is currently estimating that the state will produce 31.6 million tons of corn.

Strong corn prices are encouraging farmers to increase their safrinha corn acreage. In the city of Rondonopolis, which is located in southeastern Mato Grosso, the current price of corn is in the range of R$ 39.00 per sack (approximately $4.45 per bushel) and in the city of Sorriso, which is located in central Mato Grosso and is the largest safrinha corn producing municipality in Brazil, the current price of corn is in the range of R$ 34.00 per sack (approximately $3.90 per bushel).

The state of Parana in southern Brazil is the second largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil and the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) is estimating that farmers in Parana have planted 1% of their safrinha corn acreage. The soybeans in Parana were planted 2-3 weeks later than normal due to dry weather, so the safrinha corn is also expected to be planted later than normal as well.

In fact, the Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Parana along with the Organization of Cooperatives in Parana (Ocepar), and the Agricultural Federation of Parana (Faep) have petitioned the Minister of Agriculture to extend the deadline for planting safrinha corn for an additional 20 days. Brazilian farmers must plant their safrinha corn within a certain time frame if they want to qualify for government programs. Generally, the ideal planting window for safrinha corn closes about the third week of February.

The later the safrinha corn is planted, the greater the risks that the corn might encounter freezing temperatures before it reaches maturity. Therefore, planting safrinha corn later than normal in southern Brazil increases the risks of lower yields.