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September 17, 2014

Month-By-Month Crop Production Cycle in Brazil

As soybean planting gets underway in Brazil, it's time to start thinking more about the 2014/15 South American growing season. With that in mind, below is my annual month-by-month crop production cycle for Brazil. I have listed the cropping sequence and the general weather patterns that can be expected for each month.

September
  • Wheat is filling grain in southern Brazil and the early wheat harvest begins in Parana.
  • Full-season corn planting begins in southern and southeastern Brazil.
  • Early soybean planting begins in Mato Grosso, Parana and central Brazil.
  • Rains usually begin about this time in central Brazil, temperatures can be very hot.
  • Increasing chances of rain in southern Brazil with warming temperatures.
October
  • Wheat harvest underway in southern Brazil, especially in Parana.
  • Soybean planting in full swing in central Brazil, continue full-season corn and soybean planting in southern Brazil.
  • Rainfall frequency picking up in Brazil, rains 1-2 times a week, distribution may be uneven.
  • Temperatures remain very hot in central Brazil; can be hot in southern Brazil as well.
November
  • Early November is a prime soybean planting period in Brazil, nearly all of the full-season corn crop should be planted by now.
  • Earliest planted soybeans may start flowering by the end of the month.
  • Insecticide applications begin in order to control soybean pests.
  • Soybean planting begins in northeastern Brazil.
  • Wheat harvest wraps in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil and double crop soybeans are planted after the wheat is harvested.
  • Early-planted full season corn begins pollination.
  • Rainfall now more frequent, 3-4 times a week, temperatures remain very hot in central Brazil and hot in southern Brazil.
December
  • Finish planting double crop soybeans in southern Brazil, early-planted soybeans flowering, setting pods and filling pods.
  • An occasional field of early maturing soybeans in Mato Grosso may be harvested by the end of December.
  • Finish planting soybeans in northeastern Brazil.
  • Begin fungicide applications in most of Brazil to control soybean rust. Continue applying insecticides to control soybean pests.
  • Full-season corn crop completes pollination and begins grain filling.
  • Full-season cotton planting begins in early December in central Brazil.
  • Rainfall can occur every day, especially in central Brazil, southern Brazil not quite as wet. Can have short periods of dryness in central and southern Brazil.
  • Generally hot and humid, frequent rainfall and clouds hold temperatures in the 90's.
January
  • Soybeans flowering, setting pods, and filling pods.
  • Early maturing soybeans in central Brazil may be harvested starting in early January.
  • First harvested soybeans shipped to domestic processors.
  • Continue spraying to control soybean rust and insect pests.
  • First soybean exports may leave Brazil by the end of January.
  • Full-season corn in grain filling phase.
  • Safrinha corn planted after early maturing soybeans are harvested.
  • Full-season cotton planting completed by early January in central Brazil, safrinha cotton planted after early maturing soybeans are harvested in central Brazil. Safrinha cotton planting completed by the end of January.
  • Cotton planting begins in northeastern Brazil.
  • Peak of the rainy season, rains 2-3 times a day in central Brazil, overcast, very hot and humid, greenhouse-like conditions.
February
  • Main pod filling month for soybeans in Brazil.
  • Early maturing soybean harvest well underway especially in central Brazil.
  • Soybean rust control now focused on later maturing soybeans and insecticide applications continue.
  • Safrinha corn planted as soybeans are harvested.
  • Soybeans arriving at ports in southern Brazil and soybean exports start ramping up.
  • Full-season corn harvest begins in southern Brazil.
  • Cotton planting wraps up in northeastern Brazil.
  • Can still be very hot and rainy in central Brazil, rainfall may become less frequent in southern Brazil.
March
  • Main soybean harvesting month in Brazil, full-season corn harvest wraps up.
  • Critical time for soybean rust to affect late maturing soybeans.
  • Safrinha corn crop in vegetative development.
  • Soybean exports are now in full swing.
  • Rains become more scattered, weather becomes dryer by the end of the month.
  • Temperatures start to moderate, but can still be hot.
April
  • Soybean harvest wrapping up.
  • Long lines of trucks taking soybeans to the ports and long lines of vessels waiting to load soybeans.
  • Safrinha corn crop in late vegetative stage or early reproductive stage.
  • Wheat planting begins in southern Brazil by the end of the month.
  • Rains become more scattered in central Brazil, southern Brazil also starting to dry out.
  • Temperatures cool to more moderate levels.
May
  • Soybean exports are in full swing.
  • Safrinha corn is in reproductive phase or grain filling phase.
  • Harvest begins by the end of May for early-planted safrinha corn.
  • Cotton in central Brazil in reproductive phase.
  • Small grain planting under way in southern Brazil.
  • Generally the rains have ended in central Brazil by the end of May and dry season has started, although the rains have continued until early June in central Brazil for the last three years.
  • Scattered rains continue to fall in southern Brazil.
  • Temperatures are warm in central Brazil, cooling in southern Brazil.
June-July-August
  • Remainder of safrinha corn is harvested during this period.
  • Cotton is harvested in central Brazil and in northeastern Brazil.
  • Peak of soybean exports.
  • Corn exports pick up as soybean exports decline.
  • Small grains in southern Brazil are in vegetative and reproductive development.
  • Farmers are actively marketing their grain and watching for selling opportunities due to potential weather concerns in the U.S.
  • Farmers are making plans for the next growing season and purchasing their inputs.
  • This is the dry season in central Brazil, rainfall is very sparse if any, temperatures are upper 80's lower 90's sometimes much hotter, may have occasional cooler periods in central Brazil.
  • Temperatures in southern Brazil are cool, may even have occasional light frosts especially in June or July. This is "winter" in southern Brazil.
  • Rains can occur in southern Brazil.