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January 30, 2019

2018/19 Brazil Safrinha Corn being Planted at Record Pace

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

The full-season corn in Rio Grande do Sul is 17% harvested, 17% mature and 33% filling grain. In Parana, the full-season corn is 3% harvested, 21% mature, and 56% filling grain and the crop is rated 0% poor, 21% average, and 79% good.

The condition of the full-season corn in Parana has improved somewhat with the return of much needed rainfall. The rains are still irregular, but at least they received some. The full-season corn in Rio Grande do Sul is also doing OK. My biggest concern for the full-season corn is in the state of Minas Gerais, which has the largest full-season corn acreage. The state did receive some rain over the weekend, but they will need more going forward. Most of the corn in Minas Gerais is filling grain, so this is a critical time for the crop.

AgRural reported that 15% of the safrinha corn in southern Brazil had been planted by last Friday compared to 3% last year and 4% for the 5-year average. The fastest safrinha corn planting is in Mato Grosso where 21% of the crop has been planted followed by 19% in Parana, 12% in Goias, and 6% in Mato Grosso do Sul.

This is a record fast planting pace for safrinha corn and unless the weather turns very wet in February, there should be plenty of time for all the safrinha corn to be planted before the ideal planting window closes in central Brazil about the third week of February.

As I have been writing for several weeks, my concern for the safrinha corn is that if the rains during the second half of the rainy season are as irregular as during the first half, there may not be adequate soil moisture for the safrinha corn. The situation could worsen if the rainy season would end earlier than normal. That is speculation on my part, for now, the safrinha corn is off to a fast start.

In central Brazil, the summer rainy season usually ends about early May, but it can vary. The earliest it could end would be late-March or early April. The latest it could end is early June.