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January 23, 2019

Brazilian Farmers start planting their 2018/19 Safrinha Corn

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

The full-season corn in far southern Brazil is doing OK and the corn is 1% harvested compared to 1% last year and 1.6% for the 5-year average.

In Rio Grande do Sul, the full-season corn is 22% in vegetation development, 14% pollinating, 35% filling grain, 17% mature, and 12% harvested. Most of the corn is produced in the northern part of the state where early yields are in the range of 9,000 to 10,000 kg/ha (138 to 154 bu/ac). The local corn price is in the range of R$ 32.00 per sack (approximately $3.95 per bushel), which will result in a profit for corn producers.

In Parana, the full-season corn is rated 2% poor, 24% average, and 74% good. The full-season corn is 6% in vegetative development, 22% pollinating, 57% filling grain, and 15% mature. The full-season corn in the state was also impacted by the hot and dry weather during December.

My biggest concern is for the full-season corn in Minas Gerais. The state has been very dry for the last several weeks and unfortunately, there is not much rain in the forecast for the next 10 days, just as the corn pollinates and fills grain. The state of Minas Gerais has the largest acreage of full-season corn, so as a result, the full-season corn yields in Brazil could end up being much lower than anticipated.

I am also now becoming concerned about the weather for the safrinha corn crop. According to AgRural, the safrinha corn is 5.6% planted compared to 0.8% last year and 0.9% for the 5-year average. The state of Mato Grosso has the most safrinha corn planted at 6.6% compared to 1.4% last year and 2.2% for the 5-year average. The most advanced planting is in the mid-north where 9% has been planted. It is a record fast planting pace thus far.

In Parana, the safrinha corn is 9% planted and the safrinha corn is rated 10% average and 90% good. Farmers in Goias and Mato Grosso do Sul are not rushing out to plant their safrinha corn due to irregular rains. Reports indicate that they may wait for more consistent rains before they plant. It is still very early of course for planting safrinha corn, but the near term weather forecast does not look very encouraging. The planting window for safrinha corn in central Brazil generally closes about February 20th.

The summer rainy season is not progressing normally in Brazil and my concern is that there will be less than normal rainfall during the second half of the rainy season and maybe even an early end to the rainy season. If that ends up being the case, it would be a worst case scenario for the safrinha corn.