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October 14, 2020

Full-Season Corn in Southern Brazil 39% Planted, About Average

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

The full-season corn in Brazil is 39% planted compared to 45% last year and 39% average.

Conab released their first estimate of the 2020/21 Brazilian corn crop last week and they estimated the production at 105.1 million tons, but this is only a preliminary estimate. As is their custom, they carried forward last year's safrinha corn acreage and they will not issue a new safrinha corn acreage estimate for the 2020/21 crop until the February Crop Report.

With record high domestic corn prices in Brazil, it is almost a certainty that farmers will increase their safrinha corn acreage, it's just a matter of how much. The acreage increase for safrinha corn might be limited by a delayed soybean harvest next January and February, but Brazilian farmers have already forward contracted much of their anticipated corn production. Therefore, they will probably be willing to plant their safrinha corn as late as needed in order to take advantage of the record high corn price.

Conab estimated the full-season corn crop at 26.7 million tons or 25.4% of Brazil's total corn production, the safrinha corn crop is estimated at 76.7 million tons or 73.0% of the total, and the third corn crop in northeastern Brazil at 1.6 million tons or 1.5% of the total.

Mato Grosso Corn - Virtually all the corn produced in Mato Grosso is grown as the safrinha crop planted after the soybeans are harvested. Safrinha corn in Mato Grosso competes with safrinha cotton for acreage. Since cotton has a longer growing season, the cotton needs to be planted first and farmers would like to have their cotton planted by the end of January. That may be hard to do this growing season due to the delayed soybean planting. Additionally, cotton prices are mediocre and corn prices are record high, so it seems likely that any reduction in safrinha cotton acreage will go over to safrinha corn.

Parana Corn - The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) indicated that as of earlier last week, farmers in the state had planted 65% of their full-season corn, which is up 15% from the previous week. The corn was 38% germinating, 62% in vegetative development and the corn was rated 1% poor, 15% average, and 84% good.

Rio Grande do Sul Corn - Farmers in Rio Grande do Sul have been planted 60% of the corn compared to 56% last year and 54% average. This represents an advance of 7% for the week. They had a couple episodes of frost when some of the earlier corn was being planted, but it probably only caused minor damage. In the northern half of the state, dryness is starting to be a concern with some of the corn is already exhibiting moisture stress.

Minas Gerais Corn - Farmers in Minas Gerais had only planted 3% of their intended full-season corn up until this past weekend. Generally, only irrigated full-season corn had been planted in Minas Gerais due to dry conditions. There is rain in the forecast for this week, so if the volume of rainfall is sufficient, farmers in Minas Gerais will quickly start planting their full-season corn.

Sao Paulo Corn - Farmers in the state had only planted 6% of their intended full-season corn acreage up until this past weekend also due to dry conditions.