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March 17, 2020

Dry Weather Impacting Start of Safrinha Corn in Brazil

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

Brazilian corn estimates are declining because of problems with the full-season corn in Rio Grande do Sul and dry weather impacting the planting and early development of the safrinha corn in the southern production areas such as Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo.

Rio Grande do Sul full-season corn - The hot and dry conditions in Rio Grande do Sul continue to negatively impact the full-season corn in the state. In their report last week, Emater lowered their estimate of the state's corn production to 4.4 million tons compared to their estimate of 4.7 million tons earlier in the month. This equates to a reduction of 26% compared to what was anticipated at the start of the growing season. Officials also indicated that their estimate may decline even further.

Mato Grosso safrinha corn - The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported last Friday that 99.6% of the safrinha corn had been planted compared to 99.8% last year and 99.4% average. The safrinha corn planting in the state is wrapping up a few days earlier than average.

Parana safrinha corn - 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 Marital Candido Rondon, which is located in western Parana, the President of the local Rural Syndicate reported that 98% of the safrinha corn has been planted and farmers are concerned about the current dry conditions and the potential impact on germination and stand establishment. There is some rain in the forecast for later this week, but farmers say they would need at least 1.5 inches to insure adequate stand establishment. They are also concerned about increased pest pressure from corn leafhoppers (Dalbulus maidis).

The president of the syndicate is still expecting safrinha corn yields above 120 sacks per hectare (110 bu/ac), but he said that will depend on the weather of course and how successful farmers are in controlling pests.

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 uneven plant development and down another 30% due to increased pest pressures especially from corn leafhoppers. The late planted safrinha corn will also be more exposed to potential frosts in May and June before the corn is mature.

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.

Mato Grosso do Sul safrinha corn - In the municipality of Aral Moreira, which is located in southwestern Mato Grosso do Sul, farmers planted their safrinha corn 10 to 15 days later than normal and they are concerned that the corn will be exposed for a longer period of time to potential frosts. The region is also getting short on soil moisture and farmers indicate that they will need at least 2 inches of rain in the near future to avoid significant moisture stress.