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March 22, 2018

Farmers in NE Brazil could Harvest Record Soybean Yields

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

Farmers in northeastern Brazil are poised to harvest their second consecutive record high soybean crop in a row. The four states in northeastern Brazil, which include Bahia, Tocantins, Maranhao, and Piaui, could harvest 12.1 million tons of soybeans in 2017/18 which would represent an increase of 7.4% compared to the 11.2 million tons harvested last year, according to Expedicao Safra.

This is a semi-arid region of Brazil which has a shorter rainy season than the rest of Brazil, but the weather this year has been exceptionally good. There were good rains late last year that resulting in very good germination and early vegetative growth. The rains thus far in 2018 have been evenly distributed, which has resulted in very good pod filling. As a result, farmers are expecting very high soybean yields.

The early soybean harvest is under way in the region and the early yields confirm the farmer's optisium. In the state of Tocantins, farmers are expecting their soybeans to yield 50 sacks per hectare or more (43.5 bu/ac) compared to the more traditional yields of 30 to 35 sacks per hectare (26 to 30 bu/ac). In the state of Bahia, farmers think their yields this year could average more than the record yield of last year, which was 56 sacks per hectare (48.7 bu/ac). The expectations are just as high in the states of Maranhao and Piaui where farmers are also expecting new record high soybean yields.

The one remaining concern for farmers in the region is if the rains might interfere with harvesting. The harvesting window is a little narrower this year due to the rains, but farmers are confident the harvest risk will be minimal.