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October 18, 2017

Dry Weather Delays Soy Planting in Northern Mato Grosso

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

Soybean farmers in northern Mato Grosso are concerned about dry weather delaying the planting of their 2017/18 soybean crop. In the municipality of Sinop, which is located in northern Mato Grosso, the president of the local Rural Syndicate estimates that 20% of the 2017/18 soybean crop has been planted compared to 70% that was planted last year at this time.

The local forecast is for improved chances of rainfall late this week and into next week. The rainfall can't come soon enough for farmers wishing to plant a second crop of corn after the soybeans are harvested. Additionally, some of the earlier planted soybeans may have to be replanted because the soil moisture was not sufficient enough to insure good germination and stand establishment.

Soybeans in Mato Grosso can be planted until about the third week of November without significant yield losses if the weather cooperates during the rest of the growing season. At the present planting pace, it may take until the end of November to get all the soybeans planted.

While the soybean crop may still be OK if planted late, the prospects for the second crop of corn may already be declining. The ideal planting window for safrinha corn closes about the third week of February, but farmers in the region already know that they will have to plant some of their safrinha corn after the window closes. The latest safrinha corn can be planted in Mato Grosso is about March 10th. During the 2016/17 growing season, all the safrinha corn was planted before the window closed, but that is not likely to happen in 2017/18.

In addition to delayed planting, farmers are also worried about low soybean prices. Currently in Sinop, the local price for soybeans is in the range of R$ 50 to R$ 55 per sack (approximately $7.35 to $8.06 per bushel). At these prices, farmers claim they cannot make any money on their soybeans. As a result, they have also forward contracted very little of their anticipated 2017/18 soybean production.