Back
September 25, 2017

Brazil Soybean Planting off to a Slow Start, less than 1% Planted

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

Farmers in Parana were allowed to start planting their soybeans on September 10th with farmers in many other states allowed to start planting on September 15th. Unfortunately, the weather has not cooperated thus far with most farmers waiting for improved moisture before they start planting their 2017/18 soybean crop. Nationwide, probably less than 1% of Brazil's soybeans have been planted compared to the five-year average of 2.4% during the last week of September.

Mato Grosso - Last week was the first week that farmers in Mato Grosso were allowed to start planting their 2017/18 soybeans. A few fields of irrigated soybeans have been planted, but farmers who do not have irrigation will wait until they receive approximately 2-3 inches of precipitation before they risk planting their soybeans. Certainly less than 1% of the soybeans in the state have been planted.

Normally during the first week of planting, farmers in Mato Grosso would plant approximately 50,000 hectares of soybeans, but estimates are than much less than that was planted last week. Irrigation is more prevalent in the western part of the state where early planting is more common. Many of these irrigated soybean fields will be followed by a second crop of cotton that will be planted in January.

Mato Grosso is the largest corn producing state in Brazil and virtually all of the corn is planted as a second crop following soybeans. The ideal planting window for safrinha corn in the state generally closes about the third week of February. Corn planted after that date runs the risk of the onset of dry weather before the grain filling process is completed.

Parana - In the state of Parana in southern Brazil a few fields of soybeans have been planted, but some of those fields will need to be replanted due to poor emergence due to dry conditions. Less than 1% of the soybean acreage in the state has been planted compared to 3% planted last year at this time. There will be some more soybeans planted this week, but many farmers will wait to plant until the rains become more regular in early October.

A delay in soybean planting does not necessarily result in lower soybean yields if the remainder of the growing season has favorable weather. There is the possibility this year of periods of dryness during the growing season, which depending on the timing could impact the soybean yield. A similar planting scenario is playing out in neighboring Paraguay which is right across the Parana River from western Parana.

The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) is estimating that farmers in Parana will plant a record pf 5.4 million hectares of soybeans while they reduce their full-season corn acreage. In fact, 91% of the crop acreage planted this spring in Parana will be soybeans.

The vast majority of the corn in Parana will be safrinha production and farmers in the northwestern region of the state are already worried that the delayed soybean planting will also delay the planting of the second crop of corn. Currently, 1% of the soybeans are planted in Parana and normally 60% of the soybeans in the state are planted by mid-October.

Full-season corn - The states of Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais are the largest full-season corn producing states in Brazil with approximately 19% and 18% of the crop respectively. There has been some full-season corn planted in Rio Grande do Sul, but dry weather up until this past weekend in the state of Minas Gerais kept the corn planting in the state to a minimum.