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November 3, 2015

Improved Rainfall aids Brazil Soybean Planting Progress

Nationwide, the 2015/16 Brazilian soybean crop is approximately 31% planted according to AgRural. That is slightly ahead of last year when 29% was planted, but it is still behind the five-year average of 42%.

In Mato Grosso the farmers had planted 38% of their intended soybean acreage as of last Friday. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the planting pace this year is the slowest since 2010. Historically, farmers in the state would have planted 53% of their soybeans by this date. The slowest soybean planting pace is in eastern Mato Grosso where approximately 15% of the crop has been planted compared to an average of 40% to 50%.

In central Mato Grosso, farmers received their first good rains over the weekend and there are more rains in the forecast. Therefore, I would say that central Mato Grosso has "turned the corner" as far as rainfall is concerned and that farmers will now start actively planting their soybeans. It is a later than normal start for this region and farmers are concerned about how this might delay their safrinha corn planting, but for now, things are looking more positive for the soybean crop.

The state of Parana has had the most favorable weather thus far this growing season and the farmers in the state have planted 66% of their soybeans, which is by far the most advanced of any state in Brazil. Parana is the second leading soybean producing state after Mato Grosso.

In Rio Grande do Sul farmers have planted an estimated 3% of their anticipated soybean acreage with the most advanced planting in the northern and northwestern regions of the state. The weather in the state has been very wet and similar to last year when 1% of the crop had been planted by this date.

The main area of Brazil where farmers are still waiting for rain is northeastern Brazil. Farmers in Bahia for example, have only planted their crop if they have irrigation capabilities. The summer rains always arrive later in northeastern Brazil, so it is not a big concern quite yet, but I am concerned more long term. Brazilian meteorologist are predicting that there will be much below normal rainfall for this region throughout the growing season due to El Nino, so it will be important to monitor this area going forward.