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June 21, 2013

Farmers in Parana Begin Safrinha Corn Harvest

Farmers in the state of Parana, located in southern Brazil, have started to harvest their 2013 safrinha corn crop. According to the state Secretary of Agriculture (Deral), approximately 3% of the corn has been harvested, which is equal to last year's harvest progress at this time.

Deral reported that 79% of the corn is in good condition, which is below last year's 86% of the crop that was in good condition. The safrinha corn in northern Parana suffered adverse weather during April and May when hot and dry conditions moved into the northern part of the state. Even with yields expected to be lower than last year, the increased acreage is expected to result in a total production in the state of 10.8 million tons, which is approximately 1.0 million tons more than last year.

Parana is the second largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil after Mato Grosso responsible for approximately 25% of Brazil's safrinha corn production.

Increasing safrinha corn production in Brazil has been one of the mega trends in recent years in Brazilian Agriculture. The second crop of corn now accounts for approximately 55% of Brazil's total corn crop. safrinha corn production in Brazil is quite expensive due to the relatively low yields generally achieved. If international corn prices remain strong, then Brazilian farmers will continue to increase their safrinha corn acreage. If corn prices weaken, then farmers may seek other cheaper crop to plant such as grain sorghum, sunflowers, dry beans, millet, or cotton if cotton prices improve.

Brazil surpassed the U.S. as the world's leading corn exporter during the current marketing year, but the U.S. is expected to regain the number one spot as corn yields return to more normal levels after the severe drought in 2012 lowered U.S. corn yields to 123 bushels per acre.