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September 18, 2013

Soy Planting Ready to Begin in Mato Grosso, 39% of Crop Sold

The famers in Mato Grosso have sold approximately 39% of their anticipated 2013/14 soybean production. This is significantly lower than the 61% that was sold last year at this time, but it is about equal to the five year average. Last year, farmers were anxious to capture the record high soybean prices caused by the severe drought in the United States so they aggressively forward sold their anticipated production.

This year they have been slow sellers until just recently due to the declining soybean prices, but the Brazilian currency has weakened over the last several months helping to offset some of the price declines. The Brazilian government stepped in to support the currency several weeks ago and as a result, it has reversed some if its earlier loses.

The 90-day soybean free period has ended in the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana, and Sao Paulo so Brazilian farmers can now start to plant their 2013/14 soybeans as soon as conditions permit. In the states of Goias and Minas Gerais, they can start planting on October 1 and in the state of Bahia, they can start on October 15. The 90-day soybean free period was instituted in the mid-2000s as a way to slow the spread of soybean rust to the newly planted soybean fields.

Even though farmers can now start planting their soybeans, the conditions are too hot and dry in most of central Brazil for any significant planting activity. The first soybeans in Brazil are usually planted in the state of Mato Grosso, but the first significant rains of the new growing season have not yet arrived. Farmers like to wait until they have received 2-3 inches of precipitation before they start planting to insure adequate soil moisture for germination and stand establishment. If they plant immediately after the first light rain, there may be a delay of several weeks before for the second rain and the crop might have to be replanted.

There have been reports of a few soybeans being planted in Mato Grosso where irrigation is available. These first planted soybeans are generally early maturing soybeans that could be harvested by the end of December or early January allowing enough time for a second crop of corn or cotton.