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September 20, 2019

Brazilian Farmers Ready to Plant, only Thing Missing is Rainfall

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

Brazilian farmers are anxiously watching the weather forecasts to see when they might receive enough rainfall to start planting their 2019/20 soybean crop. In most areas, soybean planting is already allowed, but Mother Nature has not cooperated with adequate soil moisture. The forecast is calling for better chances of rain next week and into early October.

A moderate delay in soybean planting generally has no lasting impact on soybean yields as long as the weather during the growing season is beneficial. A delay in the soybean planting would delay the subsequent planting of the safrinha corn crop, which could have a negative impact on the corn yields. A delay in the soybean planting could also delay the start of soybean exports early next year, which could open the door to more soybean exports from the U.S.

Parana - In the state of Parana, soybean planting was liberated as of September 11th, but most farmers in the state are still waiting for enough soil moisture to start planting. Farmers say they would like to receive at least 50 mm of rainfall (2 inches) before they risk planting. There is some rain in the forecast for this weekend, so some farmers may plant into dry soil in anticipation of the rain, but that is not an ideal situation.

According to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral), approximately 20,000 hectares of soybeans have been planted in the state, which is significantly less than the 490,000 hectares that had been planted last year at this time. Therefore, the situation this year is completely different that last year when farmers got a quick start on planting. Deral is estimating that the statewide soybean yield in Parana in 2019/20 will be 3,500 kg/ha (51.8 bu/ac).

Mato Grosso - Soybean planting was liberated in Mato Grosso on September 16th, but the vast majority of farmers in the state will wait until they receive 50-70 mm of rain (1-2 inches) before they start planting. Many areas of the state have gone more than 100 days since the last rain. If a farmer has center pivot irrigation, they are actively planting their 2019/20 soybeans.

There are rains in the forecast for next week, but it remains to be seen if they will be heavy enough to encourage farmers to start planting. Farmers in the state want to get started planting as quickly as possible in order to allow enough time to plant their safrinha corn and cotton after the soybeans are harvested.

Mato Grosso do Sul - Soybean planting in Mato Grosso do Sul was liberated on September 16th, but the state remains in the grip of the dry season. Generally, the state receives about 100 mm of precipitation (4 inches) during the month of September, but there has been very little rainfall thus far during September.

Rainfall is expected to be more generalized in early October and it is expected that soybean planting may start on October 10 to 15. If the start of the rains continue to be delayed, some farmers may opt to switch some of their full-season corn to soybeans instead. Farmers are hoping that their 2019/20 soybean yields return to more normal levels in the range of 56 sacks per hectare (49.7 bu/ac). Soybean yields in 2018/19 were very disappointing due to an extended period of dry weather during the pod filling period.

Goias - In the state of Goias, soybean planting will be liberated on September 26th, but like in other states, the soil moisture is too dry to start planting without irrigation. The rains are expected to pick up in intensity sometime in mid-October. The soybean acreage in the state is expected to increase 2% with yields of 56 sacks per hectare (49.7 bu/ac).