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November 6, 2014

Delayed Soy Planting to Result in Less Corn Acreage in Mato Grosso

In central Mato Grosso farmers are planting their 2014/15 soybeans as quickly as possible after the arrival of the first significant rains of the growing season. In the municipality of Novo Mutum, which is located in central Mato Grosso, soybean planting has reached 60% and planting should be finished about November 10th. Most of the soybeans in the municipality will be planted 2-4 weeks later than normal this year.

The planting delays will also delay the safrinha corn planning after the soybeans are harvested in January or February. The ideal planting window for safrinha corn in the region starts in early January and closes about February 20th. Corn planted after that date runs the risk of low yields due to a lack of moisture during the grain filling process.

As a result, representatives from the Mato Grosso Corn and Soybean Producers Association (Aprosoja-MT) estimate that the safrinha corn acreage in central Mato Grosso could decline by as much as 30% due to the soybean planting delays. The decline could be even more if heavy rains delay the soybean harvest.

The soybean planting delays are also expected to impact the cotton acreage in the state as well. Mato Grosso is the largest cotton producing state in Brazil and the vast majority of cotton in the state is planted after the soybeans are harvested. Due to the longer maturity of safrinha cotton (approximately 170 days), the safrinha cotton must be planted as early as possible and the planting window in Mato Grosso closes by the end of January. The delayed soybean planting is going to make it very difficult to get the cotton planted before the cotton window closes.

During the 2013/14 growing season, farmers in the state planted 3.23 million hectares of safrinha corn which produced 17.62 million tons of corn. Mato Grosso was responsible for approximately 35% of Brazil's safrinha corn acreage in 2013/14.