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June 15, 2017

Early Safrinha Soybean Harvest in Paraguay Disappoints

Farmers in Paraguay have just started to harvest their safrinha soybeans and they are not pleased with the early results. Heavy rains over the last several weeks when the crop was maturing has resulted in very poor quality soybeans. Some fields were counted as a complete loss because the seeds sprouted in the pods.

Within two weeks, farmers will have a much better idea about the overall crop as they start to harvest the later planted soybeans that reached maturity after the heavy rains largely ended. They are hopeful that the quality will improve as the harvest progresses.

It is estimated that farmers in Paraguay planted 450,000 to 500,000 hectares of safrinha soybeans. Poor quality safrinha soybeans could impact the next soybean crop in Paraguay because safrinha soybean production is an important source of seed for the next soybean crop. If the quality of the seed is poor at harvest, then the germination of the seeds will be poor as well, making it unsuitable for planting the following season.

Farmers in Paraguay are allowed to plant two crops of soybeans back-to-back in the same field, unlike in Brazil where that practice is prohibited in some of the major producing states. Brazilian scientists have long argued that a second crop of soybeans right across the border from southern Brazil could be a source of rust spores for the next crop of soybeans in Brazil and they have urged the Paraguayan government to end the practice.