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September 1, 2017

Farmers in Southern Brazil may start Planting Soybeans in 10 days

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

Farmers in the state of Parana in southern Brazil may start planting their 2017/18 soybean crop in 10 days on September 11th, if the planting conditions are suitable. Recent rains in the state have improved the soil moisture, but some additional rains will be needed before early planting is assured. The long range forecast are calling for the possibility of rain during the second week of September.

The state government of Parana is conducting a one-year experiment to see if it is feasible to start planting soybeans earlier than normal. For a number of years, farmers in Parana were not allowed to start planting soybeans until September 16th, but the start date was moved forward this growing season by 5 days to September 11th.

In an interview with So Noticias, the president of the Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Parana (Aprosoja-PR), Jose Eduardo Sismeiro, indicted that he is ready to start planting soybeans on his farm in western Parana if the rains forecasted for the second week of September materializes.

Since corn prices are low, he is emphasized that farmers need to make sure they get a good soybean crop and not to count on safrinha corn to insure a profitable year. He feels farmers should only plant safrinha corn if can make money, if not they may consider planting a cover crop such as oats to help improve the soil profile.

Planting soybeans as early as possible is desirable but risky. If soybeans are planted as early as possible, it could be possible to grow three different crops per year in the state. Under an ideal scenario, soybeans that are planted during the second week of September could be harvested in late December or early January. A crop of safrinha corn could then be planted immediately after the soybeans are harvested. Early planted safrinha corn could then be harvested during May, which would allow for the planting of a winter wheat crop. The wheat crop could then be harvested in early September in time to plant soybeans once again. Everything would have to go perfectively and the weather would need to cooperate to accomplish panting three crops in one year.

On the other hand, planting soybeans as early as possible also runs risks. The risky part is that the early summer rains may not start in a uniform pattern. If farmers planted immediately after the first rain, there could be a lag of several weeks before the second rain with intervening temperatures being very hot. Under that scenario, the soybeans would emerge and then die due to a lack of water run requiring that they be replanted.