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October 24, 2018

Brazil's 2018/19 Corn Crop could set a New Record High Production

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

Last year when the Brazilian soybeans were planted very late due to dry weather, we knew the safrinha corn was going to be planted late and there was the possibility of disappointing corn yields. By October 17, 2017, I was estimating the 2017/18 Brazilian corn production at a very low 88 million tons with the possibility it could end up being even lower. My minimum at the time was 83.0 million tons and I had a lot of people question me as too why I was so low. It turns out that Conab is now estimating the 2017/18 Brazilian corn crop at 80.7 million tons.

The situation this year is completely reversed with record fast soybean planting. As a result, we can already speculate how this might impact the 2018/19 safrinha corn crop. The safrinha corn is probably going to be planted at a record early pace, which means there is the possibility of record high safrinha corn yields. My current 2018/19 Brazilian corn estimate is 96.0 million tons, with a maximum of 98.0 million tons, but I think the 2018/19 Brazilian corn crop could easily be a new record-high production surpassing the old record of 97.8 million tons set in 2016/17.

The yield potential of safrinha corn is highly correlated with the planting date. There is a much higher probability of favorable weather during pollination and beyond if the corn is planted early as opposed to being planted late. Therefore, early planting of the safrinha corn is really important for high yields. It also helps to insure against problems that can be caused by an early end to the summer rainy season.