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January 3, 2014

Good Yield Reports from Early Soybean Harvest in Brazil

Farmers in Mato Grosso have started to harvest some of their earliest planted soybeans earlier this week. Early harvest progress is being reported in municipalities of Campo Verde and Primavera do Leste in southeastern Mato Grosso, Sapezal in the western part of the state, and Lucas do Rio Verde in the central part of the state. In the western part of the state the harvest is starting earlier than last year and it is starting at about the same time as last year in the central regions of the state.

The soybeans being harvested are early maturing soybeans (90 to 100 day maturity) that were planted shortly after the 90-day soybean free period ended last September 15th. Early yield reports have been positive with yields in the range of 55 sacks per hectare (3,300 kg/ha or 47.8 bu/ac). These are very good yields for early maturing soybeans which generally have a somewhat lower yield potential than later maturing soybeans.

The good yields are being attributed to good weather thus far and a lack of significant disease or insect pressure. Farmers in the state have applied preventative fungicide treatments and only 13 cases of soybean rust have been confirmed in the state. Everyone had been concerned about potential damage from the corn earworm caterpillar, but thus far farmers have been generally successful in keeping the pest under control.

Virtually all these early harvested soybeans will be followed by a second crop of corn or cotton. The earlier these second crops are planted, generally the higher the yield potential. Farmers are also anxious to plant their second crop as soon as possible because of the possibility of an early end to the rainy season in March or April.

The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) has reported that farmers in the state have only sold 48% of their anticipated 2013/14 soybean production, which is 18 points less than the 67% that was sold last year at this time.