May 13, 2011

Mato Grosso Leads Brazil in the Production of Four Commodities

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

The farmers in Mato Grosso are the leaders in Brazil in the production of soybeans, cotton, safrinha corn, and sunflowers. In addition, the state also has the largest cattle heard in Brazil. In its May report, Conab estimates that the soybean production in the state at 20.4 million tons or 28% of Brazil's total soybean production. The 2010/11 soybean production represents an increase of 8.8% over 2009/10. Farmers in the state planted 2.8% more soybeans in 2010/11 and the 2010/11 statewide yield was a 5.8% improvement over the prior year. The best yields in the state were recorded in the central and northern locations where yields of 57 sacks per acre were common (50 bu/ac) as compared to the more normal yields of 53 sacks per hectare (46 bu/ac) recorded last growing season.

Planting of the 2010/11 crop occurred at a more normal time frame compared to much delayed planting of 2009/10. The biggest problem for the 2010/11 crop was the heavy rains that delayed harvesting especially in the western part of the state. The heavy rains did negatively impact the yields in the western part of the state, but that was not the case in the central and northern regions. Soybean farmers in the state have also been very pleased with the soybean prices. During the harvest of the 2009/10 crop, soybeans in the state were selling in the range of R$ 22 to 25 per sack. During the recent harvest season, soybean prices in the state were in the range of R$ 37 to R$ 40 per sack.

Cotton was the big surprise in Mato Grosso this growing season and cotton acreage in the state jumped 69% from 428,100 hectares in 2009/10 to 732,500 hectares in 2010/11 including the full season and safrinha cotton acreage. Cotton yields are expected to improve this year and the total production is estimated at 3.3 million tons, which is 79% more than last growing season. The total cotton production could still be impacted by dry weather since the cotton harvest will not start for nearly two more months.

Mato Grosso also has the largest planted acreage of safrinha corn at 1.8 million hectares or 32% of the safrinha corn acreage in Brazil. Conab is currently estimating the safrinha yield at 3,900 kg/ha (60 bu/ac), but recent dry weather could result in lower yields before the crop is harvested.

Mato Grosso farmers also planted 40,500 hectares of sunflowers with the expected production of 57,000 tons or 68% of Brazil's total. The last major grain crop planted in Mato Grosso is grain sorghum at 82,000 hectares.