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May 29, 2013

Safrinha Corn Harvest Starting in Center-West Region of Brazil

Farmers in the center-west region of Brazil have started to harvest some of their early maturing safrinha corn. Early harvest activity is being reported in Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goias. According to agronomist from the Agricultural and Livestock Federation of Mato Grosso do Sul (Famasul), only a few farmers have started to harvest their corn and most of the farmers will begin harvesting during the second half of June and the harvest should conclude in late July or early August.

Farmers in Mato Grosso do Sul planted 1.42 million hectares of safrinha corn and Conab is expecting the state will produce 6.67 million tons, but dry weather and heavy pest pressure may reduce the production. Agronomists report that in seven of the twenty largest producing municipalities the safrinha corn yields are expected to be 15% to 20% lower than originally estimated.

In Mato Grosso the safrinha corn harvest has started in a number of municipalities including Sorriso in the center of the state and Campo Verde in southeastern Mato Grosso. June is the primary month for harvesting corn in the state and the harvest usually concludes in early July. Corn yields in Sorriso are not expected to be as good as they were in 2012 when the average yield for the municipality was 110 sacks per hectare (6,600 kg/ha or 102 bu/ac). Dry weather negatively impacted the safrinha corn that was planted later than normal during the early part of March.

Farmers in the municipality of Campo Verde in southeastern Mato Grosso have also started their safrinha corn harvest. Early corn yields have been somewhat disappointing, but they are expected to improve as the harvest progresses.

The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is estimating that the state will produce 17.3 million tons of corn which would surpass the 15 million tons produced last year. The safrinha yields may end up being somewhat lower than last year, but that will be more than made up for by the 20% increase in safrinha corn acreage planted in 2013

The start of the early corn harvest is also being reported in the state of Goias where yields are also believed to have been negatively impacted by dry weather.