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November 2, 2012

Dry Weather Causes Replanting of Soybeans in Mato Grosso

Farmers in central Brazil can face a difficult decision as to when to start planting their crops when the dry season is ending and the rainy season is beginning. It is always risky to plant soybeans in central Brazil anticipating that there will be enough rainfall in the near future to get the seed germinated and the stand established. If they guess wrong and the rains do not materialize, the crop may have to be replanted at a later date when the rains do arrive. That is exactly what has happened to some soybean producers in Mato Grosso this year.

Numerous soybean producers in Mato Grosso planted their 2012/13 soybean crop after the first initial rains anticipating that there would be enough subsequent rainfall to insure germination and stand establishment. Unfortunately, some of those farmers guessed wrong and there was not enough rainfall to insure germination. Additionally, recent temperatures in central Brazil have been extremely high with some areas recording temperatures approaching 110 degrees. The high temperatures and lack of soil moisture resulted in the death of the small soybeans that managed to germinate. These farmers are now waiting for additional rainfall to replant their soybeans.

The municipality of Sinop, which is located in northern Mato Grosso, is one of those areas where some replanting will be necessary. According to the president of the local Rural Syndicate, replanting will not be all that widespread, but certainly some of the soybeans in the area will need to be replanted. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) estimates that 118,800 hectares of soybeans will be planted in the municipality this year and as of last week; approximately 60% of the soybeans had been planted.

Another area of concern is the municipality of Campo Novo do Parecis, which is located in western Mato Grosso. The rainfall has been sporadic in the region and approximately 40% of the anticipated 382,800 hectares of soybeans in the municipality have been planted. There are some farmers in the region that have only planted 10% of their soybean acreage due to a lack of rainfall.

The situation is similar in the municipality of Novo Mutum, which is located in central Mato Grosso. Approximately 70% of the 385,000 hectares of soybeans in the municipality have been planted and some farmers have already purchased new supplies of seed to replant their crop when the soil moisture improves.

In addition to increasing their production costs, replanting their soybeans during the month of November will prohibit these farmers from planting a second crop of corn or cotton after the soybeans are harvested. The planting window of a second crop of corn in Mato Grosso closes about the third week of February and for the second crop of cotton, it closes even earlier at the end of January. If a farmer wants to plant a second crop after these late-planted soybeans are harvested, they may have to opt for a short cycle crop that is more drought tolerat than corn such as grain sorghum or sunflowers.