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March 13, 2020

Safrinha Corn in Northwestern Parana off to a Rough Start

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

As the Brazilian soybean harvest passes the half way mark, the market's attention is shifting to the 2019/20 safrinha corn crop, which accounts for more than 70% of Brazil's total corn production. The number one safrinha corn producing state in Brazil is Mato Grosso and the safrinha corn in that state is getting off to an OK start. That is not the case for the corn in the second largest producing state of Parana.

The planting window for safrinha corn in Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo is now essentially closed and the growing season is not getting off to a very good start.

In the municipality of Guaira, which is located in northwestern Parana, the President of the Rural Syndicate is estimating that the safrinha corn yields in his area could be down as much as 50% from original expectations. He is estimating that the yields will be down 25% due to the delayed planting and down another 30% due to increased pest pressures. The late planted safrinha corn will also be more exposed to potential frosts in May and June before the corn is mature.

In addition to being planted later than normal, the weather in northwestern Parana has turned dryer than normal in recent weeks with only light isolated showers leading to uneven germination and irregular early plant development. The corn has also been attacked by an assortment of insect pests.

The region would need rainfall in the range of 2-4 inches to recharge the depleted soil moisture, but the near term forecast is only calling for limited rainfall.