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July 21, 2016

Safrinha Corn Yield Variability very high in Mato Grosso

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

The safrinha corn harvest in Mato Grosso has passed the half way mark and the variability in corn yields in the state is becoming even more apparent. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is indicating that there is a greater variability in yields than in past years.

In central Mato Grosso, which is the largest corn producing region of the state, the difference between the maximum and minimum corn yields this year is 50 sacks/ha (46.2 bu/ac) compared to last year when it was 21 sacks/ha (19.4 bu/ac). In eastern Mato Grosso, which suffered longer from the dry weather, the difference is 77 sacks/ha (71 bu/ac) compare to last year when it was 24 sack/ha (22 bu/ac). Imea is indicating that the corn yields this year are closer to the minimums.

The dry weather this growing season has led to at least 20 municipalities in the state to declare a "state of emergency." Earlier in the year, the emergency declarations were made in order to assist farmers as they renegotiated their bank loans and their commitments to deliver soybeans and corn to grain companies. The emergency declarations were aimed at helping farmers in their legal battles with the goal of avoiding financial penalties because they defaulted on their contracts.

The more recent emergency declarations have been mainly due to dwindling supplies of water for cities and livestock operations in the eastern part of the state. Since last November, municipalities in eastern Mato Grosso have experienced the driest weather in recent years. The drought has impacted the production of safrinha corn, safrinha cotton, as well as impacting pastures and livestock operations.

In the municipality of Querencia, there has been an 80% increase in the drilling of water wells on rural properties to supply water for livestock and humans. Some ranchers are reported to have moved their cattle to rented pastures due to lack of water supplies