November 10, 2016
Soybeans are being Planted at a Record Pace in Mato Grosso
The 2016/17 soybean crop in Mato Grosso, which is Brazil's leading soybean producing state, are being planted at a record pace. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) estimates that over 80% of the crop has already been planted which is 20% more than last year. An early start to the summer rainy season allowed farmers to get an early start on soybean planting as well.
A good example of this early planting are the soybeans planted in the municipality of Campo Novo do Parecis, which is located in west-central Mato Grosso. Soybeans were first planted in this region starting 30 years ago and farmers have reported that they finished planting their soybeans the earliest on record this year with some reporting that the planting was completed a month earlier than last year.
Soybean planting started early in the region because the summer rains arrived 15 days earlier than expected. Soybean planting normally starts about October 1st and ends about November 15th. This year, the planting started on September 15th, which was the first day farmers were allowed to start planting soybeans after the expiration of the soybean-free period and all the soybeans were essentially planted by October 31st.
While farmers are pleased with the record fast planting, they are also worried about the concentrated nature of the planting this year. The all-important pod filling period will be concentrated as well which will increase the risk from dry weather if it occurs during this critical reproductive period. The harvest will also be concentrated early next February increasing the risk of wet weather during harvest.
A potential early harvest of the soybeans will be beneficial for the second crops planted after the soybeans are harvested including: cotton, popcorn, sunflowers, sorghum, and corn.
Soybean production in Mato Grosso is expected to rebound from a very disappointing 2015/16 growing season. In 2015/16 the soybean crop in the state was negatively impacted by hot and dry weather resulting from El Nino. In the end, the state produced 26.0 million tons of soybeans, which was approximately 3 million tons below initial expectations. With an early start to the growing season this year and a forecast for favorable weather resulting from a mild La Nina, farmers in the state are hoping that the soybean production could reach 30 million tons this growing season.