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April 16, 2019

2018/19 Brazil Safrinha Corn continues in Good Condition

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

Safrinha corn production in Brazil is always a risky proposition and you have to wait until the crop is far enough along in its development before you can be certain that there will not be a problem caused by dry weather or cold temperatures.

The safrinha corn in central Brazil continues to receive rain and they even received rain in the dryer areas of southern Brazil as well. The safrinha corn in central Brazil is close to being safe from any further potential damage from dry weather. The crop was generally planted two weeks earlier than normal, so it is well advanced in its development. They don't report crop progress in Mato Grosso, but I would guess that 10% or more of the corn is mature or approaching maturity. Farmers in Mato Grosso are very optimistic about their safrinha corn crop.

The safrinha corn in southern Brazil will still need rainfall through May and there is always the possibility of cold weather impacting the corn before it matures. Frosts are always a possibility in southern Brazil during May and June when the crop is still developing.

Mato Grosso safrinha corn - In their third evaluation of the corn crop in the state, the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) revised upward their estimate of the 2018/19 safrinha corn production in the state. They now estimate that farmers in the state planted a record 4.74 million hectares of safrinha corn (11.7 million acres), which is 7% more than last year. They cited the early planting as the main reason for the record acreage.

Imea estimates that 95.8% of the safrinha corn was planted before the end of February, which is generally considered the close of the ideal planting window. Generally, the safrinha corn in the state was planted about two weeks earlier than normal.

The majority of the corn is rated in good condition due to the beneficial rainfall since the crop was planted. As a result, Imea increased their yield estimate from their last report to 103.23 sacks per hectare (95.3 bu/ac) and the total production is now estimated at 29.3 million tons, which represents an increase of 6.4% compared to last year.

Farmers in Mato Grosso have forward sold 58.4% of their anticipated 2018/19 corn production. This represents an advance of 5.5% since last month. The average price of corn for the forward sales during the month of March was R$ 20.41 per sack (approximately $2.45 per bushel). Farmers sales of the 2017/18 corn crop is 99.8% complete and the average price for the few sales during March was R$ 23.98 per sack (approximately $2.86 per bushel). The demand for the old crop corn was concentrated in the domestic market.

Parana safrinha corn - The safrinha corn in Parana is rated 5% average and 95% good. The corn is 40% in vegetative development, 26% pollinating, 31% filling grain, and 3% mature. The safrinha corn in southern Brazil could still be impacted by cold weather, but a researcher from Embrapa forecasts that there will not be any frosts in southern Brazil before the corn is mature.

Rio Grande do Sul full-season corn - According to Emater, farmers in Rio Grande do Sul have harvested 75% of their full-season corn compared to 68% last year. In the northwestern regions of the state, the corn yields are better than expected in the range of 8,072 kg/ha (124 bu/ac). Farmers in the state plant a little safrinha corn and the corn is in generally rated in good condition.