March 22, 2013

Soybean Yields End Up Disappointing in Much of Mato Grosso

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

Farmers in Mato Grosso have harvested more than 85% of the soybeans in the state and in municipalities such as Lucas do Rio Verde in central Mato Grosso; the 2012/13 soybean harvest is complete. According to the president of the Rural Society, Julio Simpak, the soybean yields obtained in the municipality have been disappointing.

At the start of the growing season, soybean yields in the municipality were expected to be in the range of 58 sacks per hectare (3,480 kg/ha or 50 bu/ac), but recent assessments put the average yield at just 48 sacks per hectare (2,880 kg/ha or 41.7 bu/ac).

The soybeans in the municipality faced two different problems during the growing season. During the early part of the growing season the weather was dryer than normal resulting in reduced vegetative growth. Since most of the soybeans planted in the municipality were early maturing varieties, the crop had a limited time to respond to improved conditions in the middle of the growing season. The second weather problem occurred during harvest when excessive rains kept the combines out of the fields resulting in reduced seed quality and lower yields. The soybean crop in the municipality also confronted excessive insect pressures this year as well.

It was not just Lucas do Rio Verde that ended up with disappointing soybean yields; farmers in Primavera do Leste in southeastern Mato Grosso also expressed similar disappointment. The Mato Grosso Soybean and Corn Producers Association (Aprosoja) is estimating that the yields in the municipality were reduced 8 to 12 sacks per hectare (7 to 10 bu/ac) due to adverse weather. The average yield for the municipality was expected to be 60 sacks per hectare (3,600 kg/ha or 52 bu/ac), but it ended up being approximately 50 sacks per hectare (3,000 kg/ha or 43.5 bu/ac). The area also experienced dryer than normal weather during the early growing season and excessive rainfall during harvest.

In both of these municipalities farmers have planted a second crop of corn after the first crop of soybeans was harvested. The corn was planted later than normal due to the delays in the soybean harvest caused by the wet weather. The early condition of the corn is good and farmers are hoping for an extended rainy season in order to allow enough time for the crop to complete grain filling before the onset of the dry season.