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March 27, 2019

2018/19 Brazilian Soybean Crop approaching 70% Harvested

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

The Brazilian soybean crop is 68% harvested compared to 65% last year and 64% for the 5-year average according to Safras & Mercado. This represents an advance of 6% for the week. Mato Grosso do Sul is 96% harvested and Goias is 83% harvested. The soybean harvest pace has been slowing down due to wet weather and the harvest in three states is now behind the 5-year average. Parana is 73% harvested (average is 77%), Goias is 83% harvested (average is 84%), and Santa Catarina is 20% harvested (average is 24%).

Farmers continue to be frustrated by the wet weather slowing the harvest pace and there are reports of poor seed quality and even some soybeans sprouting in the pods. The forecast for southern Brazil is dryer with most of the rain confined to the northern half of the country. That is generally a good forecast for finishing up the soybean harvest in southern Brazil, but probably not the best forecast for the safrinha corn crop in southern Brazil.

Mato Grosso - The soybeans in Mato Grosso are 99% harvested according to Safras compared to 95% last year and 92% for the 5-year average.

Minas Gerais - Some farmers are complaining that they can only harvest two hours per day due to the wet conditions and the soybeans are of poor quality with some sprouting in the pods. The soybean harvest in Minas Gerais is 72% complete. In the municipality of Perdizes, which is located in western Minas Gerais, some soybean yields are down as much as 35% compared to last year's yields of 61 sacks per hectare (54.1 bu/ac).

Parana - The soybean production in Parana could end up 20% below what had been expected at the start of the growing season. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) started off the season estimating that the soybean crop would be 19.6 million tons, but it has been gradually declining and now they are estimating the production at 16.4 million tons. The average soybean yield is estimated at 50.2 sacks per hectare (44.5 bu/ac) compared to 58.8 sacks per hectare (52.2 bu/ac) in 2017/18. Farmers in Parana are hoping that their safrinha corn crop can compensate for a disappointing soybean crop.

Farm organizations in Parana are requesting that the Minister of Agriculture allow farmers more time to pay back their production loans due to lower yields caused by the hot and dry weather. Giving farmers more time to pay back their production loans is a relatively common occurrence in Brazil.

Santa Catarina - Recent wet weather has slowed the soybean harvest in the state which now stands at about 20-30% depending on the region. In the western part of the state along the border with Argentina, the yields of the early maturing soybean are expected to be down approximately 20% due to the dry weather earlier in the growing season. The yields of the later planted and later maturing soybeans are expected to be about normal.

Rio Grande do Sul - The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are 19% harvested with another 41% mature and ready for harvesting. According to Emater-RS, the average yield of the soybeans harvested thus far is 3,900 kg/ha (57.7 bu/ac) and they expect the final statewide yield to be 3,132 kg/ha (46.3 bu/ac).