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January 29, 2015

Farmers in Sao Paulo Hope Forecast for Rain is Verified

Soybean farmers in the state of Sao Paulo, like many farmers in central and eastern Brazil, are hoping that the forecast for increases chances of rainfall comes true. Some soybean fields in the southwestern region of Sao Paulo have been over two weeks without any significant rainfall.

The director of the Coopermota Cooperative in the municipality of Candido Mota, indicated that the last significant rainfall in the region was on January 5 with only light rainfall since. The 2,000 members of the cooperative plant 150,000 hectares of soybeans and they are still hoping for average yields of 3,000 kg/ha (43.5 bu/ac), but those yields will only be achieved if the predicted rainfall arrives soon. The soybeans are currently filling pods and the harvest is expected to begin February 20 and peak during the first week of March. The director is worried that the soybean yields in the region are being compromised every day that the rainfall is delayed.

Farmers in the region who have invested in irrigation aren't worried about the lack of rainfall. In the municipality of Itapera, 10% of the farmers have installed center pivot irrigation which covers 50% of the 22,000 hectare of soybeans planted in the municipality. The center pivots have been working day and night recently supplying the crop with the needed moisture.

The director of the Catingueiro Farm, Jose Oiraziu Preira, indicated that he expects his 1,000 hectares of soybeans to yield 3,800 kg/ha (55 bu/ac) and his 450 hectares of corn to yield 12,000 kg/ha (185 bu/ac). The center pivots allow him to produce two and a half crops per year and he intends to increase his irrigation capability to cover 100% of his crop production.