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June 4, 2015

Early Corn Harvest in Parana Underway

Farmers in Parana have harvested approximately 5% of their 2015 safrinha corn crop according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). Farmers are reporting good yields, which in turn have pressured domestic corn prices.

Early yields in Cascavel, which is located in western Parana, are in the range of 7,300 kg/ha (112 bu/ac), which is considered very good yields for safrinha corn. In 2014, the statewide average yield for the safrinha crop was 5,500 kg/ha or 84.7 bu/ac.

Approximately 20% of the corn in the state is mature and another 50% is in the later stages of filling grain, which leaves 30% of the crop in the early stages of filling grain. This last one-third of the crop will still need additional precipitation to achieve its full yield potential. Frost is always a concern for the safrinha corn in Parana and approximately two thirds of the corn is still susceptible to potential frost damage.

Farmers in the state planted 1.89 million hectares of safrinha corn and if the weather continues to cooperate, the total production should be approximately 10.5 million tons, which would set a new record. Farmers in the state continue to shift more and more of their corn production from the first crop to the second crop following soybeans. The safrinha corn crop in Parana is now double the size of the first crop and over the last ten years, the safrinha corn crop has increased more than 500%.

Nationwide, more than 60% of Brazil's corn crop is now produced as a second crop with the state of Mato Grosso being the largest producer followed by Parana. Soybeans continue to occupy more of the first crop in Brazil as farmers shift more of their corn to the second crop.

In anticipation of a record large safrinha corn crop, domestic corn prices in Parana continue to be under pressure. The average corn price in Parana is now approximately R$ 19.50 per sack of 60 kilograms or approximately US$ 2.85 per bushel using an exchange of 3.1 Brazilian reals per U.S. dollar.