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March 4, 2021

Heavy Rains Continue to Delay Soybean Harvesting in Central Brazil

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

Heavy rains in Mato Grosso continue to frustrate Brazilian farmers as they try to complete their 2020/21 soybean harvest. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported that 57% of the soybeans in the state have been harvested, which is 31% slower than last year at this time.

In the municipality of Sorriso, which is located in central Mato Grosso, rainfall amounts over the last few days was as high as 250 mm (10 inches). Sorriso is the largest soybean producing municipality in Brazil with more than 605,000 hectares of soybean production (1.49 million acres). It is estimated that 30% of the soybeans remain to be harvested.

The timetable for harvesting the last 30% of the crop is up in the air due to more rain in the forecast. If the wet weather continues, there could be as much as 10% losses for the unharvested soybeans. Certainly, the wet weather will make a slow harvest even slower.

In the neighboring municipality of Lucas do Rio Verde, which has 250,000 hectares of soybeans (617,500 acres), heavy rains are also delaying the completion of the harvest with also about 30% of the crop left to harvest. There will be some losses for the late harvested soybeans due to high seed moisture and some seeds rotting in the pods. If the weather would cooperate, it would take about another 20 days to finish the soybean harvest. Unfortunately, the forecast is calling more rainfall.

In addition to worrying about the soybeans, farmers are also concerned about the delayed planting of the safrinha corn. The ideal planting window for the second crop of corn closed at the end of February, but farmers are still trying to plant their corn. It is estimated that only about 50% of the intended corn acreage has been planted. Some of the earlier planted corn may also have to be replanted due to standing water and poor emergence.