October 10, 2012

Planting Progressing Slowly in Brazil

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

Brazil Weather - Central Brazil received scattered showers last week and the forecast looks somewhat dryer going forward. Several weeks ago, it looked like the rainy season had started in Mato Grosso and the rest of central Brazil, but now that assumption looks less certain, at least for the near term. It is not unusual at all to get a flush of showers in late September only to be followed by several weeks of dry weather in early October before the rainy season really takes hold.

In other areas of central Brazil such as the states of Goias and Tocantins, the rainfall has not been heavy enough or widespread enough to even start the planting progress. In the state of Bahia, in northeastern Brazil, the soils are still dry as well as farmers wait for the first showers.

Southern Brazil has received a lot of rainfall over the last week especially in Rio Grande do Sul and there is more rain in the forecast. The state is saturated after several weeks of heavy rains, strong winds, hail, and even some freezing temperatures. The state of Parana has not received as much rain, but they too could use a period of dryer weather going forward.

In general, I would categorize the Brazilian weather as uneven. The early season weather is still OK; it's just not quite as good as good as it appeared several weeks ago.

Brazil Soybeans - The planting of the 2012/13 soybean crop in Brazil is progressing at about an average pace with 3-5% of the crop planted. Last year 5% of the soybeans had been planted by this date compared to an average of 2%.

In Mato Grosso where the first soybeans in Brazil are generally planted, 8-9% of the soybeans have been planted (6% planted last year at this time) and the planting has been uneven. There has been more rainfall in central Mato Grosso and lessor amounts in eastern and western parts of the state. If a farmer got some of the early rainfall, then he is planting at full speed. If they have not received the rain, then no planting will occur until the rain arrives.

The farmers in Parana have managed to plant about 9% of their soybeans compared to 16% last year and 5% average. Farmers in the state have reduced their full-season corn acreage, so most farmers will start right in on soybeans as soon as the conditions permit. The state of Rio Grande do Sul has definitely been delayed by the spring weather. The state is basically saturated, which has delayed the corn planting and prevented any significant amount of soybeans to be planted.

Brazil Corn - The corn planting in southern Brazil continues at a slower than normal pace. Heavy rainfall in Rio Grande do Sul has resulted in saturated conditions and a lot of the rainfall was accompanied by strong winds, hail, and even some freezing temperatures. All of this has combined to make for slow corn planting progress in the state where an estimated 35-40% of the corn has been planted and some of the corn will now need to be replanted. Corn planting in Parana has also progressed slower than normal with 27% of the corn planted compared to 30% planted last year at this time.

Brazil Summary - The soybean planting in Brazil started off better than average, but it has now slowed down to about an average type of start. The Brazilian corn crop continues to be planted at a slower than normal pace