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January 19, 2016

Early Yield Reports of Brazilian Soybeans are Generally Sub-Par

Below is a long list of all the yield reports that came in last week from throughout Brazil. Most of the yields thus far have been sub-par, which was expected because the early maturing soybeans were impacted the most by the dry weather in November and December. The official estimates from the state agencies or Conab are generally higher than the estimates from the local producer organizations.

Nova Mutum central Mato Grosso - Less than 1% of the soybeans harvested. In areas hit hard by the drought, yields are below expectations at 20-30 sacks per hectare (17.4 to 26 bu/ac). In areas that received good rains, yields are 60-64 sacks per hectare (52.2 to 55.6 bu/ac). The municipality plants 405,000 hectares of soybeans and 30% of the acreage was impacted by the drought. Soybean harvest will peak in early February. The safrinha corn acreage in the municipality is expected to decline 20% due to delayed soybean harvest.

Darcinopolis, Tocantins - Earlier planted soybeans impacted the most, yields were expected to be 55 sacks per hectare (47.8 bu/ac), but could be a low as 20 sacks per hectare (17.4 bu/ac). Now that the rains have returned, farmers are finishing their soybean planting in January, which is outside the ideal planting window. These January planted soybeans will need rain until April to complete pod filling. Farmers are planting their soybeans late because they have forward contracted their soybeans and they need to produce soybeans to meet their contracts. Some farmers skipping soybean planting and going straight to planting safrinha corn instead.

Goioee, western Parana - Wet weather is limiting the harvest progress of the early maturing soybeans. There are reports of soybeans sprouting in the pods due to the wet weather. The average yield in the region is now estimated at 55 sacks per hectare (47.8 bu/ac) compared to 70 sacks per hectare (60.9 bu/ac) in recent years. Farmers also worried about high amount of soybean rust this year.

Londrina, northern Parana - Earlier last week 11 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period. During the first 12 days of January, the region has received nearly 17 inches of precipitation compared to the historical average of 8.6 inches for the entire month of January.

State of Parana - The Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Parana estimates the state's soybean production at 16 million tons compared to their original estimate of 18 million tons. The problem of course has been too much rain. They need a week of sunny weather to dry things out in order to apply desiccants and to resume harvest activity. Soybean rust is a problem and farmers have already applied more fungicides than normal in an effort to control the disease. Farmers in the state have forward contracted 35-40% of their soybeans at an average price of R$ 57 to R$ 65 per sack.

Douradina, southern Mato Grosso do Sul - During the first two weeks of January, the region received 12 inches of rainfall. Flooding kept farmers out of the field preventing chemical application needed to control diseases. If it stays wet for the rest of January, the early harvest would be delayed. Soybean yields in the region are expected to be below historical average of 55 sacks per hectare (3,300 kg/ha or 47.8 bu/ac). Dozens of rural bridges have been destroyed by the flooding making many roads impassable. This is going to cause a lot of logistical problems locally.

State of Mato Grosso do Sul - The early soybean harvest is starting on the high ground. Early harvest in southern areas, near the city of Dourados, getting yields up to 57 sacks per hectare (3,420 kg/ha or 49.5 bu/ac). The Agricultural Federation of Mato Grosso do Sul estimates the state's soybean production at 7.5 million tons or 5.6% more than last year, setting a new record.

The Soybean and Corn Producer Association of Mato Grosso do Sul (Aprosoja/MS) estimates the state's soybean production at 6.8 million tons, which would be below last year's production of 6.9 million tons. They started the season estimating the crop at 7.2 million tons. They feel that 1.37 million hectares of soybeans in the state, or 56% of the total, have been impacted by the heavy rains and that at least 130,000 hectares of soybeans are a complete loss. The lost acreage would represent 390,000 tons of lost production. They feel the safrinha corn production in the state would be about the same as last year.

The state government of Mato Grosso do Sul has authorized the temporary construction of drainage ditches to try to eliminate some of the standing water. This authorizes ditches to be dug across a neighbor's property if necessary. The emergency authorization is valid until March 31st.

State of Goias - The rainfall in southern Goias has generally been acceptable this growing season and that is the part of the state where most soybeans are grown. The northern part of the state was very dry until early January when the rainfall increased. Most of the soybeans in southern Goias are now filling pods with some early harvest activity expected this week. In the northern part of the state, farmers are still planting soybeans or they may have opted to skip soybeans and plant corn instead.

The Agricultural Federation of Goias (Faeg) is expecting a production of 9.8 million tons in the state with an average yield of 3,000 kg/ha (43.5 bu/ac). Conab is expecting the state to produce 10.4 million tons with an average yield of 3,064 kg/ha (44.4 bu/ac). Farmers in the state have forward contracted 55% of their anticipated soybean production.

Buri, Sao Paulo - The first soybeans harvested are in the range of 54 to 71 sacks per hectare (47 to 81 bu/ac) compared to last year's yields of 75 to 85 sacks per hectare (65 to 74 bu/ac). The lower than expected yields are being attributed to the persistent cloudy and rainy weather over the last several months. The full-season corn is yielding 152-157 bu/ac, which is slightly below expectations, but only 30% of the corn is full-season. Most farmers who harvest soybeans before mid-February will plant a second crop of corn due to good corn prices.