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March 10, 2016

Soybean Harvest in Parana 65%, Safrinha Corn 83% Planted

Recent dry weather in southern Brazil has allowed the farmers in the state of Parana to accelerate their soybean harvesting. According to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral), the soybean harvest in Parana advanced 14% last week to 65% complete. Last year at this time the soybean harvest was 52% complete.

The soybean harvest in many areas of western Parana is either complete or nearly complete. The slowest harvest progress is in the northern part of the state where the weather has been the wettest. Deral expects the harvest to be 85% complete by March 25th and essentially done by the end of March.

Farmers in Parana increased their soybean acreage by 3% in 2015/16 to 5.26 million hectares. At the start of the growing season, Deral estimated the state's soybean production at 18 to 19 million tons, but that has now been revised downward to 17.5 million tons. The decline was the result of very wet weather during the growing season and also wet weather during harvesting. The statewide average soybean yield is now estimated at 3,300 kg/ha (47.8 bu/ac).

According to Noticias Agricolas, many farmers are reporting poor quality seed due to the wet weather and as a result, the percentage of damaged seed in many instances has exceeded the allowed limit of 8%. The price of the poorest quality seed is being discounted up to 70%. The current price of soybeans in the state is in the range of R$ 68.00 to R$ 70.00 per sack. Farmers in Parana have sold 41% of their soybeans compared to 16% last year at this time.

Farmers in the state have harvested 52% of the full-season corn in the state. The full-season corn acreage declined 22% this growing season to 423,470 hectares as farmers opted for more soybeans instead. As a result, the farmers shifted more of their corn production to the safrinha corp.

Deral estimates that 83% of the estimated 2.0 million hectares of safrinha corn has been planted, which is 3% ahead of last year's pace. Farmers in Brazil have a financial incentive to plant safrinha corn due to the very strong domestic corn prices. The current corn price in Parana is in the range of R$ 33.00 to R$ 34.00 per sack compared to last year at this time when the prices were in the range of R$ 22.00 to R$ 23.00 per sack. The higher corn prices are the result of reduced full-season corn production and record high corn exports.

The full-season corn production is estimated at 3.5 million tons and the safrinha crop is estimated at 12 million tons. Combining the two crops, Parana's corn production will be equal to or slightly larger than last year's production.