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March 25, 2015

Brazil Soybeans 61% Harvested, Argentine Soybeans 2% Harvested

Farmers in southern Brazil made good progress in their soybean harvest last week aided by dry weather while harvest progress in central Brazil was slowed somewhat by wet weather. Nationwide, the Brazilian soybean crop is approximately 61% harvested which is about 4% slower than last year.

In the number one producing state of Mato Grosso, the soybean harvest is approaching 90% complete, which is slightly slower than last year. The second leading producing state is Parana where 68% of the soybeans have been harvested. The harvest pace in northern Parana has been slowed somewhat by wet weather as well. The third leading state is Rio Grande do Sul where 11% of the soybeans have been harvested. Soybeans are planted later in Rio Grande do Sul, so this is about a normal start time for soybean harvesting in the state.

Soybean yields in most of Rio Grande do Sul are expected to be very good if not record high. In one area of the state though, soybean yields might be more variable in the range of 40 to 70 sacks per hectare (2,400 to 4,200 kg/ha or 35 to 61 bu/ac). In the region of Ijui in the northern part of the state, soybean rust was widespread especially for farmers who tried to save some money by cutting back on fungicide applications. In some fields, the disease may have reduced yields by as much as 15 sacks per hectare or 13 bushels per acre.

Additionally, agronomist in the region reported that there was a lot of soybean root diseases as a result of the very wet weather during January. Ironically, the same region dried out late in the growing season which coincided with the critical pod filling period for soybeans, thus reducing yields even more. For the unfortunate farmers that had to deal with rust, root diseases and dry weather, their yields may be down 20% to 40% from earlier expectations. Statewide though, this is the exception. Most regions of the state will probably end up with record high soybean yields.

The farmers in Argentina have also started to harvest their 2014/15 crops. The soybeans in Argentina are 1-2% harvested while the corn is approximately 6% harvested. The early soybean yields in Argentina are outstanding with some reports of over 70 bushels per acre. The entire crop is not going to yield that high though, but even the lowest yields being reported in Argentina are still in the low 50 bushel range.

Corn yields in Argentina are also expected to be very good, but maybe not quite as universally good as the soybean yields. The average corn yield being reported thus far by the Buenos Aires Gran Exchange is 8,970 kg/ha or 138 bu/ac, but that is expected to increase as the harvest progresses. In the core production regions, the corn yields are expected to be in the range of 10,000 to 13,000 kg/ha or 154 to 188 bushels per acre.