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March 5, 2020

Emater Lowers Soy and Corn Estimates in Rio Grande do Sul

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

In their latest assessment of the summer crops in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the extension service Emater confirmed that the irregular weather has resulted in reduced crop yields. As a result, Emater has aggressively lowered their estimates of the 2019/20 soybean and corn crops in the state.

This week, Emater lowered their estimate of the 2019/20 soybean production in the state by 16% from their earlier estimate to 16.5 million tons. This is approximately 3 million tons lower than what had been expected at the start of the growing season. The soybean crop in the state is only 2% harvested, so most of the crop is still in the critical pod filling stage. If the dry weather persists in the state, Emater stated that their soybean estimate could move lower in subsequent reports. The soybean harvest in the state won't be completed until sometime in May.

The rains have been very irregular with some farmers receiving good rains and others not receiving any rain at all. In some of the hardest hit areas, soybean yields have been reduced 50% with a few farmers reporting yields as low as 7 to 8 sacks per hectare (6 to 7 bu/ac). In order for the estimate not to move lower, the driest areas of the state would need to receive at least one inch of rainfall per week until the crop is mature.

Rio Grande do Sul is traditionally the third largest soybean producing state in Brazil behind Mato Grosso and Parana, but it moved into second place last year when the crop in Parana was impacted by dry weather. According to the current estimate, it will fall back in third place this growing season.

In spite of the lower soybean production in Rio Grande do Sul, the rainfall in other Brazilian states has been adequate and Brazil is still expected to produce a record soybean crop in 2019/20.

The corn crop in the state has also been significantly impacted by the dry weather. Emater lowered their estimate of the state's full-season corn production by 21% from its earlier estimate to 4.7 million tons. The full-season corn in the state is 50% harvested, but the corn estimate might still move lower if the dry weather persists.

Rio Grande do Sul is usually Brazil's largest producer of full-season corn, but with the lower production this growing season, the state will come in second this growing season to the state of Minas Gerais as the number one producer of full-season corn in Brazil.