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November 17, 2015

Brazil Soybeans 60% Planted, Behind Average of 71%

The weather last week in Brazil was more of the same - below normal rainfall in central and northeastern Brazil and too wet in far southern Brazil. The prediction for El Nino-induced dryer than normal weather in central and northeastern Brazil and heavier than normal rainfall in southern Brazil has certainly been correct. The states of Mato Grosso, Goias, and Bahia continue to receive scattered rainfall while the state of Rio Grande do Sul was once again hit by very heavy rains last week.

Nationwide, the 2015/16 Brazilian soybean crop is 60% planted according to AgRural compared to 63% last year and 71% average. Soybean planting is behind average in Mato Grosso, Rio Grande do Sul, Goias, Bahia, and Parana.

In Mato Grosso, the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) estimated at 83.7% of the soybeans have been planted, which represents an increase of 22% in one week. Farmers in the state have made a lot of progress over the last two weeks and the soybean planting is now about equal to last year when 84% of the crop had been planted. The most advanced planting is in the western part of the state with the eastern part of the state is the slowest.

Up until recently, the soybean planting progress in the state had been uneven due to the scattered nature of the rains. In isolated areas of the state, less than half of the soybeans have been planted when normally the planting would essentially be done by now. Some areas will also need to be replanted due to poor germination. In some areas, farmers are reporting 15-20 days without rain since the soybeans have been planted with temperatures as high as 40 C (104 F). The extent of replanting will only be determined after they get a good rain so they can judge the germination and emergence. In these dryer areas, farmers will wait for adequate soil moisture to plant their soybeans because they have no other alternative.

All the corn in the state is now planted as the safrinha crop, so there is no rotating to another crop if the soybeans are not planted on time. There is some full-season cotton planted in the state, but approximately three quarters of the cotton is planted as a second crop following soybeans. The first crop in Mato Grosso is virtually all soybeans, so the farmers will wait until the conditions support soybean planting.

In the central Brazilian state of Goias, the worst area is the southwestern part of the state where the rainfall thus far this growing season has been approximately 60% below normal. The areas of dryness in Goias represent over half of the total soybeans produced in the state.

In western Bahia, the rains are about a month late in getting started. The current soil moisture (mid-November) is what it normally would be in mid-October. For now, it looks like 2015 will see the second latest arrival of the summer rains over the last 15 years.

The best weather in Brazil has been in Parana and southern Mato Grosso do Sul. The soybean planting started early in Parana, and as a result, farmers in the state should be able to start planting their safrinha corn approximately 15 days earlier than average next year. Farmers in southern Mato Grosso do Sul have also had good planting weather and they have planted 80% of their soybeans. It is a little slower in the northern part of the state where they have planted approximately 60% of their soybeans.

In Rio Grande do Sul, the soybean planting is behind average due to wet conditions. Farmers in the state have planted 20% of their soybeans compared to an average of 37%. In addition to delaying the soybean planting, the wet weather in the state has also impacted the rice planting and the wheat production.