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March 11, 2014

Emergency Declared in 17 Cities in Mato Grosso, more to come

The number of municipalities in Mato Grosso that have declared states of emergency due to the heavy rains has now grown to 17 and another dozen municipalities are expected to make the same declaration over the next few days. The hardest hit areas have been the central and northern regions of the state and it's all the result of heavy rains that have pounded the state over the past month.

Many of these emergencies have been declared due to: washed out rural roads, damaged or destroyed bridges, communities isolated by lack of access, the lack of transport for school children, and the inability to haul grain on muddy rural roads. The main purpose of these declarations is to pressure the state government to make emergency repairs as soon as possible.

For farmers in the region, the wet weather has lowered their expectations for a record soybean production. In the hardest hit regions, soybean loses may be as high as 30% due to poor seed quality and the inability to harvest the crop.

Some of the worst areas are also the areas where a lot of the safrinha corn is planted as well. As the wet weather delays the completion of the soybean harvest, this in turn has pushed the potential safrinha corn planting past the ideal planting window. The ideal planting window for safrinha corn in Mato Grosso generally closes the third week of February, but planting could be delayed until early March if necessary. Any corn planted after early March though runs a high risk of low yields due to a lack of moisture during the grain filling process.

Safrinha corn now accounts for more than half of all the corn produced in Brazil and Mato Grosso is the largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil responsible for nearly 40% of the total production.