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July 20, 2018

Warmer, Dryer Weather in Brazil to Aid Corn and Cotton Harvest

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

Most of Brazil is in the midst of the annual dry season with warming temperatures and little chance of rainfall in the near term forecast. The temperatures across much of Brazil will be above average, which will aid the dry down of the safrinha corn and the start of the cotton harvest.

The most advanced safrinha corn harvest is in the state of Mato Grosso where approximately 60% of the corn has been harvested. Mato Grosso is the largest safrinha corn producing state followed by Parana. The corn harvest in Parana has been slow up until this point with less than 5% of the crop harvested. The delayed planting of the corn along with recent cold weather slowed the dry down of the corn. The harvest pace is expected to pick up in Parana with the return of warmer and dry weather over the last several weeks. Nationwide, the safrinha corn harvest was estimated at 25% complete as of late last week.

The safrinha corn yield is highly variable with yields as high as 120 sacks per hectare (110 buy/ac) in some areas, while in other areas, the yield is 85 sacks per hectare (78 bu/ac) or less. In their most recent monthly crop report, Conab estimated the 2017/18 Brazilian safrinha crop production at 56.0 million tons which is down 16.9% from last year.

The dry weather has also been beneficial for the start of the cotton harvest. Even though the cotton harvest is in its earliest stages, producers are expecting a new record yield in both Mato Grosso, which is the number one producer, and Bahia, which is the number two producer.

The one crop for which the current dry weather is problematic is the winter wheat crop in southern Brazil. The state of Parana is the largest wheat producing state in Brazil, but dry weather over the last several weeks in the northern part of the state has farmers worried about their wheat production. The second largest wheat producer is Rio Grande do Sul, but the problem in that state is that there has been too much rain.