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October 22, 2014

Light Rains Bring Encouragement to Brazilian Farmers

After 15-20 days of hot and dry conditions across much of central Brail, a few widely scattered light showers over the last two days brought a ray of hope to Brazilian farmers that the prolonged drought may be waning. In southern Mato Grosso they generally received 0.3 of an inch and in central Mato Grosso they received 0.7 of an inch of rainfall.

In Lucas do Rio Verde, which is located in south-central Mato Grosso, some lucky farmers received enough rain to resume their planting activities. Approximately 15% of the soybeans in the region have been planted, which is about one third the normal pace, but many of the soybeans planted earlier in late September will now have to be replanted. If the farmers in the region receive three quarters to one and a half inches of rain they will resume planting their soybeans. At the end of last week, the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported that 9% of the soybeans in Mato Grosso had been planted compared to an average of 27%.

The ideal planting window for soybeans in central Mato Grosso is generally considered between October 1st and October 20th, so farmers are very anxious to get back into the fields and resume their planting activities. The forecast looks encouraging with general widespread rains forecasted for much of Brazil during the last week of October.

An additional concern for farmers in Mato Grosso is the fact that the safrinha corn crop will now be planted later than desirable. With the delays in soybean planting, it will be virtually impossible to get all the safrinha corn planted early next year before the ideal planting window for the second crop of corn closes approximately February 20th.

Parana is the second leading soybean producing state after Mato Grosso and the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) estimated that 38% of the soybeans have been planted compared to 47% last year. Rains returned to the state of Parana over the weekend and farmers are now planting their soybeans as fast as possible. With good planting conditions, many farmers will finish their planting within ten days.

Nationwide in Brazil approximately 11% of the 2014/15 soybeans have been planted compared to an average of approximately 22% making this the slowest planting since the 2008/09 growing season.