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November 21, 2017

Second Half of Brazil Planting Progressing Normally

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

Brazilian Soybeans - Brazilian farmers made good progress all across Brazil last week in planting their soybeans. According to AgRural, the 2017/18 Brazilian soybean crop is now 73% planted, which is equal to last year and ahead of the five year average of 68%. Brazilian farmers planted 16% of their soybeans last week, which was the biggest advance thus far this planting season.

In many areas of Mato Grosso and Parana, the soybean planting is essentially complete. There are some dry areas in northwestern Parana where farmers have had to replant their soybeans. Of all the major soybean producing states in Brazil, the soybean planting has been most delayed in the state of Goias. They have recently received good rains in Goias, so the farmers are now rushing to get their soybeans planted. In fact, there are reports of farmers in the state planting their soybeans first instead of their full-season corn because of the better returns for soybeans. The last areas to be planted in Brazil will be the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southernmost Brazil and in northeastern Brazil.

I am more optimistic this week concerning the Brazilian soybean crop because after a delayed first half of the planting, the second half of the plating has progressed normally. The first half of the planting was delayed primarily due to dry weather in central Brazil. It is the first half of the soybeans that will be followed by a second crop of corn. That is why I still think there could be more issues with the Brazilian corn crop than the soybean crop. If the weather cooperates for the remainder of the growing season, the Brazilian soybean crop could still achieve a trend line yield.

The rainfall across central Brazil during the month of November has been very beneficial and there is more rain in the forecast for this week in central Brazil. So after a slow start, the planting and crop development is now proceeding at about a normal pace.

If a La Nina pattern of dryer weather is developing in northern Argentina, it could spread to Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. The weather in that state has been a little on the dry side and the forecast for this week looks generally dry as well. Therefore, if this is the start of a La Nina pattern, it should first appear in Rio Grande do Sul.

Brazilian Corn - According to AgRural, the full season corn in Brazil is now 63% planted, which is slower than the 79% planted last year and the 65% five year average. The full-season corn in the state of Parana is essentially done planting. Parana is the third largest full-season corn producer. The two largest producers are the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais and both states plant about the same acreage of full-season corn.

The full-season corn planting in Rio Grande do Sul has progressed about normally and is approaching completion. The same cannot be said for Minas Gerais and the neighboring state of Goias. Most of the full-season corn in Minas Gerais is planted in the northwestern region of the state and farmers in the state have only planted 9% of their intended full-season corn acreage. Most of the full-season corn acreage in Goias is planted in eastern Goias, which is right across the border from Minas Gerais. In Goias, the full-season corn planted went from 2% a week earlier to 40% last week. The slow corn planting in these two states is what has held down the overall planting pace for full-season corn in Brazil.