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July 17, 2015

Wet Weather Continues to slow Safrinha Corn Harvest in Brazil

Harvesting of the safrinha corn crop in central Brazil is progressing normally, but in southern Brazil it has been significantly slowed down by record rainfall over the last several weeks.

Farmers in Mato Grosso have harvested 31% of the 2015 safrinha corn crop, which is just slightly behind last year's pace. Harvesting in the state was temporarily interrupted by wet weather during the end of June and early July, but harvesting has since resumed. The harvest in Mato Grosso is expected to be completed in approximately 30 days. Farmers in the state are very pleased with their corn yields, which will likely set a new record for the state.

As of mid-July, 68% of the safrinha corn production in Mato Grosso had already been forward contracted, which is more than double last year's pace when only 30% of the corn had been sold by mid-July. Farmers in Mato Grosso have already forward contracted 5% of next year's corn production.

In the state of Parana, the safrinha corn is approximately 25% harvested, but little progress has been made over the last three weeks due to heavy rains. Many areas of the state have already registered record rainfall totals for the month of July and the month is only half over. Farmers are concerned that the quality of the grain may be compromised by the persistent wet weather. Parana is the second leading producer of safrinha corn following Mato Grosso.

The third leading safrinha corn producing state is Mato Grosso do Sul and the corn harvest in the state was just 7% complete as of late last week due to excess rainfall in the southern part of the state. In spite of the harvest delays, farmers are expecting very good corn yields which could end up being higher than what is currently estimated by Conab.

In all three states, local agencies are estimating higher safrinha corn yields than what is currently being estimated by Conab. In their July Crop Report, Conab estimated the nationwide safrinha corn yield at 5,420 kg/ha or 83.4 bu/ac. Conab's estimate for the safrinha corn yields in Mato Grosso, Parana, and Mato Grosso do Sul are 87.2 bu/ac, 86,7 bu/ac, and 79,4 bu/ac respectively. If Conab's estimates are verified, the 2014/15 safrinha corn crop would represent 63% of Brazil's total corn production.

In recent weeks, record rainfall has been falling all across southern Brazil including the sates of Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. In western Santa Catarina for example, some cities registered 8 inches of rainfall during a 24-hour period earlier this week and many areas have already broken records for the month of July with half the month yet to go.