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May 7, 2012

Farmers Optimistic about Safrinha Corn in Mato Grosso do Sul

Corn producers in Mato Grosso do Sul are optimistic about their safrinha corn crop in spite of a recent cold snap. Even though a strong cold front pushed through the state last week, no frost damage was reported in the state. Frost is always a potential problem for safrinha corn production in the state since most of the safrinha corn is grown in the south-central region of the state near the cities of Maracaju, Dourados, Ponta Pora and Sidrolandia.

Recent rainfall has also benefited the safrinha corn crop. Rainfall during the month of March was below normal and it looked like the rainy season may be winding down, but rainfall amounts during the month of April were greater than normal. During the last week of April, generous rains fell across the corn producing regions and these rains came at a critical time for the corn which was in the midst of pollination.

According to the Agriculture and Livestock Federation of Mato Grosso do Sul (FAMASUL), farmers in the state increased their safrinha acreage by 20% and the total production may increase 33%. Total safrinha acreage in the state in 2012 is expected to be 1.11 million hectares compared to 953,000 hectares planted last year. The safrinha corn yield is estimated at 3,900 kg/ha (60 bu/ac) compared to 3,600 kg/ha last growing season (55.5 bu/ac). The total production of safrinha corn in the state is expected to be 4.4 million tons compared to 3.3 million tons in 2010/11.

As a way to help farmers in the state plan for weather variations, several organizations in the state are joining together to propose nearly doubling the number of weather reporting stations in the state. Currently, there are 29 weather stations in 22 municipalities and the proposed program would increase that to 49 stations in 44 municipalities. If implemented, it would guarantee coverage in all the major crop producing regions of the state. Mato Grosso do Sul is one of the larger states in Brazil encompassing an area the size of Germany. Row crop production is scattered across the state, but most of the agriculture in the state revolves around cattle ranching.

The organizations working together on increasing the number of weather stations in the state include: The Agricultural and Livestock Federation of Mato Grosso do Sul, The Soybean Producers Association of Mato Grosso do Sul, as well as the State Secretary for Agricultural Development, Industry, Commerce, and Tourism.