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September 20, 2011

Month-By-Month Crop Production Cycle in Brazil

Now that the calendar is approaching mid-September, it's time to start thinking about the 2011/12 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
  • Small grains are filling grain in southern Brazil and early wheat harvest begins.
  • Full-season corn planting begins in southern Brazil.
  • Early soybean and full-season corn planting begins in Mato Grosso and central Brazil.
  • Rains usually begin about this time in central Brazil, temperatures are 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 main soybean planting period in Brazil; all of the full-season corn crop should be all planted by now.
  • Earliest planted soybeans may start flowering by end of the month.
  • Soybean planting begins in northeastern Brazil.
  • Wheat harvest wraps 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 and setting pods.
  • Finish planting soybeans in northeastern Brazil.
  • Begin spraying to control soybean rust.
  • Full-season corn crop completes pollination and begins grain filling.
  • Full-season cotton planting begins in central Brazil.
  • Rainfall can occur every day, especially in central Brazil, southern Brazil not quite as wet. Can have short periods of dryness especially in central Brazil.
  • Cloud cover and rainfall holds temperatures in the 90's.
January
  • Soybeans flowering and setting pods.
  • Some early maturing soybeans in central Brazil may be harvested by the end of the month.
  • First harvested soybeans shipped to domestic processors.
  • Continue spraying to control soybean rust.
  • 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 in central Brazil until the end of the month.
  • 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.
  • Early soybeans being harvested and soybeans start arriving at the ports, soybean exports begin by early February.
  • Full-season corn harvest begins.
  • Soybean rust control now focused on later maturing soybeans.
  • Safrinha corn planted as soybeans are harvested.
  • Cotton planting wraps up in northeastern Brazil.
  • Can still be very hot and rainy in central Brazil, rainfall less frequent in southern Brazil.
March
  • Main soybean harvesting month, full-season corn harvest wraps up.
  • Soybean exports in full swing.
  • Critical time for soybean rust to affect late maturing soybeans.
  • Safrinha corn crop in vegetative phase.
  • Rains become more scattered, weather becomes dryer by the end of the month.
  • Temperatures become more moderate.
April
  • Soybean harvest wrapping up.
  • Long lines of trucks taking soybeans to the ports and long lines of vessels waiting to load.
  • Safrinha corn crop in late vegetative stage or early reproductive.
  • Wheat planting begins in southern Brazil.
  • 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 grain filling phase.
  • Harvest begins for early-planted Safrinha corn.
  • Cotton in central Brazil in reproductive phase.
  • Small grain planting wraps up in southern Brazil.
  • Rains have ended in central Brazil and dry season has started.
  • 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.
  • Small grains in southern Brazil are in vegetative 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.
  • Rains can occur in southern Brazil.