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March 15, 2011

Soybeans in Goias Negatively Impacted by Wet Weather

Recent heavy rains in central Brazil have affected the soybean crop in Goias as well as in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. According to the Agriculture and Livestock Federation of Goias (Faeg) some areas of the state, mainly south and west, have suffered soybean losses of up to 30%. Three weeks ago farmers were very optimistic about the yield potential of their crop and the strong prices being paid for soybeans, but much of that optimism has now faded after nearly two weeks of constant rain that is lowering the quality of the crop and the yields.

Agronomist in the region feel that it's the medium maturing soybeans that have been affected the most by the wet weather because they were ready for harvest when the rains began. The early maturing soybeans had already been harvested when the wet weather set in and the later maturing soybeans had not yet matured when the rain started.

Areas of southwestern Goias received 10 inches of rain during the two week period starting February 25, which is five times the normal amount. The highest losses, some as much as 100%, appear to be fields that were sprayed with descants just prior to when the rains began. Descants are applied to soybeans to speed up the maturity process, but this year, it meant that the mature soybeans were exposed to the wet weather even longer than what normally would have been expected.

The quality of the soybeans have also been severely affected not only by the wet weather, but also from the fact that farmers have had to harvest some of their soybeans at very high moisture content. These high moisture soybeans must be dried immediately and there are even some reports of soybeans starting to germinate in the trucks while they were waiting to be dried.

The wet weather has also slowed the planting of the safrinha corn crop putting in doubt the 6% increase in safrinha corn acreage in Goias recently estimated by Conab in their March report.