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October 27, 2020

Full-Season Corn in Southern Brazil off to a Somewhat Dry Start

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

With the slow start for Brazil's soybean planting, we already know that much of the safrinha corn will be planted outside of the ideal planting window. That alone is a concern for the safrinha corn yields. Even with the anticipated delayed safrinha corn planting, Brazilian farmers are still expected to increase their safrinha corn acreage due to the record high domestic corn prices.

La Nina appears to be strengthening and it is already impacting the start of the growing season. Meteorologists in Brazil are warning that La Nina could also result in dryer than normal conditions during the growing season. My concern is that if La Nina results in a dryer than normal start and middle of the growing season, it might also result in a dryer than normal end of the growing season.

Under that scenario, the summer rainy season may end earlier than normal. Usually the last summer rains end during the first half of May, but if they ended sometime in April, there could be a significant negative impact on any safrinha corn that was planted later than normal.

The corn prices in Brazil are record high due to the expected very tight corn supplies (see later article). It is already anticipated that the full-season corn crop may not be large enough to meet the domestic demand. If the safrinha corn crop ends up disappointing, these high corn prices in Brazil may stay in place for another 1 or 2 years.

Rio Grande do Sul Full-Season Corn - According to Emater, the corn in Rio Grande do Sul is 70% planted compared to 70% last year and 65% average. This represents an advance of 4% from the prior week. The corn is 98% germinating or vegetative development and 2% is pollinating. Recent dry weather has already resulted in moisture stress developing on the corn. The president of Aprosoja/RS indicated that there problems developing for the corn in the state with the exception of the irrigated corn. The average corn price in the state was R$ 64.39 last week (approximately $5.45 per bushel), which is up 3.4% from the prior week.

Parana Full-Season Corn - Deral reported that farmers in Parana had planted 86% of their full-season corn as of earlier last week, which is up 8% from the prior week.

Santa Catarina Full-Season Corn - Farmers in the state are already reporting problems with their full-season corn due to dry weather and some of the corn may need to be replanted.