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March 6, 2019

Late Season Weather helping 2018/19 Brazilian Soybean Crop

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

The weather last week in Brazil continued to be wet especially across central and southeastern Brazil. The forecast looks like there will be more rainfall again this week. The weather last week was beneficial for the two areas where the soybeans could still be helped, which are Rio Grande do Sul and northeastern Brazil.

The Brazilian soybean harvest is approximately 55% complete compared to approximately 35% last year and 37% for the 5-year average

Mato Grosso - According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the soybean harvest in the state was 87.7% complete late last week compared to 70% for both last year and the 5-year average. This represents an advance of 7% for the week. The fastest harvest is in the mid-north where the crop is 96% harvested while the slowest harvest is northeastern region where 69% of the soybeans have been harvested.

In the municipality of Lucas do Rio Verde, which is located in central Mato Grosso, farmers have completed their soybean harvest and they are reporting yields in the range of 56 to 57 sacks per hectare (49.7 to 50.6 bu/ac), which is only down 2-3% from last year. The weather in the municipality was wet during November, but then it turned dry in December. Rainfall returned to more normal levels during January. Soybean prices are approximately 15% below last year and as a result, farmers are waiting for improved prices to sell much of their 2018/19 soybeans.

Northeastern Brazil - The soybeans in northeastern Brazil are always planted later than in the rest of Brazil because the summer rains start later. As a result, the soybeans in northeastern Brazil are also the last to be harvested.

Farmers in the state of Maranhao have harvested 30% of their soybeans and the yields are averaging about 45 sacks per hectare (40 bu/ac) compared to last year when they averaged 52 sacks per hectare (46 bu/ac). Farmers are hoping for a better safrinha corn crop to help compensate for their disappointing soybean crop.

Farmers in the state of Piaui have harvested about 10% of their soybeans and early yield results are in the range of 48 to 50 sacks per hectare (42.6 to 44.4 bu/ac), which is about average for the state, but 15% less than last year's record yield of 59.5 sacks per hectare (52.8 bu/ac). The president of the Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Piaui (Aprosoja-PI) attributes the lower yields to irregular rains during December and January. Soybean prices are not as good as farmers had hopped and as a result, farmers with the lowest yields may have a hard time covering their costs.