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July 19, 2011

Safrinha Harvest 50% in Mato Grosso, Just Starting in Parana

The safrinha corn harvest in the state of Mato Grosso is approaching half completed. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agriculture Economics (Imea) 800,000 hectares of the 1.7 million hectares had been harvested as of late last week. During last week alone, the harvest progressed 17%, but it is still significantly behind the 80% that was harvested last year at this time.

The most advanced harvest pace is in the north-central region of the state with 60% harvested followed by the northern region at 55%, the northeast at 33% and the southern region at 32%.

Imea estimates that the safrinha corn acreage in Mato Grosso will be 10% less than what was planted in 2010 and that the corn yields will be 10% lower than the yields obtained in 2010. Many producers in the state feel that Imea is overly optimistic and that losses on their property will be more in the range of 20% to 50% depending on when the corn was planted and when the rains ended. Many producers were forced to plant their safrinha corn long after the ideal planting window had closed due to delays in the soybean harvest. These late planted safrinha corn fields were significantly impacted by dry weather when the rainy season ended about a month earlier than normal. The combination of late planting and dry weather is expected to result in very low yields.

The safrinha corn harvest in the state of Parana (the second leading safrinha corn producing state in Brazil after Mato Grosso) is just now getting underway. The first corn to be harvested will be the corn that was planted at the end of February. The early planted corn was the most mature when the freezing temperatures hit at the end of June and thus will be least impacted by the cold weather. The later planted corn was in various stages of development when the cold weather hit and as a result, was severely impacted by the freezing temperatures.

The earliest planted corn should have the highest yields and the latest planted corn should have the lowest yields. Some early yield results from northwestern Parana indicate acceptable yields, but they are 60% less than last year's all time record yields. Officials from the cooperative Cocamar in northwestern Parana are estimating that the combination of cold weather at the end of June and a drought during the month of May caused losses in the range of 30% to 35% for the safrinha corn grown in their region.

They are advising their farmer/members that if they are planning on planting a safrinha corn crop in 2012, they need to plant their soybeans as early as possible in early October and they need also to plant early maturing soybeans as well.