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March 4, 2021

Wet Weather Delays Safrinha Corn Planting in Mato Grosso

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

Wet weather is not only delaying the soybean harvest in central Mato Grosso, it is also delaying the planting of the safrinha corn crop as well. The municipality of Sorriso, which is located in central Mato Grosso, is Brazil's largest corn producing municipality accounting for 450,000 hectares of safrinha corn (1.1 million acres).

The President of the Rural Syndicate of Sorriso indicated that farmers have only planted approximately 50% of their intended safrinha corn acreage. This is extremely late because in a more normal year, the corn planting would have been completed by the first week of March.

Corn that is planted in Mato Grosso past the optimum window runs a significant risk of running out of moisture before it matures due to the onset of the annual dry season. The last summer rains in Mato Grosso usually occur in early May. After the last rain, the temperatures stay warm in the 80's, but there will not be any more rain until sometime in September. If safrinha corn is planted in mid-March, it will pollinate in mid-May and mature in mid-July. It is possible that the summer rainy season will have ended before the late planted corn even pollinates.

In their last monthly estimate, the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economies (Imea), estimated the 2020/21 safrinha corn acreage in the state at 5.68 million hectares (14.0 million acres). Imea is estimating the statewide safrinha corn yield at 106.2 sacks per hectare (101.3 bu/ac) with a total production of 36.26 million tons. Their yield estimate is expected to decline once it is known when all the safrinha corn finally gets planted.