March 15, 2011

Farmers in Parana Actively Harvesting Soy and Planting Corn

Soybean farmers in western Parana have not encountered the same type of harvest delays that have been plaguing farmers in central Brazil. In the region of Campo Mourao, which is located in western Parana, farmers have managed to harvest approximately half of their 2010/11 soybean crop with yields being reported as slightly better than in 2009/10.

Most of the remaining soybean crop in the region is mature and the weather is expected to allow for continued harvesting. Moving forward, the quality and yield of the soybeans could only be impacted if the crop encountered 10 to 15 days of wet weather and those types of conditions are not in the forecast.

Farmers in the region are not only pleased with their soybean yields; they are also selling their soybeans for prices that are much better than a year ago. A 60 kilogram sack of soybeans in western Parana is currently selling for R$ 43.50 (US$ 12.00 per bushel) compared to one year ago when it was selling for R$ 31.0 or US$ 8.50 per bushel.

Farmers in Parana have also been planting their safrinha corn crop as soon as the soybeans have been harvested. safrinha corn acreage is expected to increase in the region due to favorable corn prices. In 2010, a 60 kilogram sack of corn in western Parana was selling for R$ 13.00 or about US$ 3.40 per bushel. Currently, that same sack of corn in the region is selling for R$ 23.40 or approximately US$ 6.40 a bushel.

In 2010, many farmers in western Parana opted to plant small grains such as wheat or oats instead of corn due to the high cost of producing corn and the low prices offered at the time. In fact, some farmers in the region did not even plant a second crop at all. That is certainly not the case at all this year as farmers scramble to plant as much safrinha corn as possible. Estimates are that the safrinha corn acreage in the region might increase as much as 20% compared to last year. Conab is currently estimating a 16% increase in Parana's safrinha corn acreage.