Mar 15, 2021

Municipality of Sorriso in Mato Grosso Declares State of Emergency

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

Authorities in the municipality of Sorriso, which is located in south-central Mato Grosso, declared a state of emergency last week due to the recent excessive rainfall. Over the last 45 days, the municipality has received more than 800 mm (32 inches) of rain resulting in localized flooding, washed out roads and bridges, and lost crops. Losses in the private sector are estimated at R$ 1.5 billion (approximately $300 million).

The municipality of Sorriso is the largest soybean and corn producing municipality in Brazil. According to the Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Mato Grosso, the heavy rains have delayed the soybean harvest and resulted in lower yields and poor quality seed. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported last Friday that the soybeans in the region were 73% harvested compared to 100% last year.

Wet conditions have also delayed the planting of the safrinha corn crop as well. Imea reported that 64% of the safrinha corn had been planted by last Friday compared to 97% a year earlier. In addition to delayed planting, some of the earlier planted corn will have to be replanted or abandoned due to poor germination and emergence. The ideal planting window for safrinha corn closed about the third week of February, so planting corn during the second half of March is very risky.

Under these sort of conditions, the corn that has been planted will develop very shallow roots due to the saturated soils. In turn, that makes the corn more vulnerable to dry conditions with the onset of the annual dry season. The summer rainy season generally ends during early May. The soils in Mato Grosso drain very quickly, so moisture stresses can develop very quickly once the rains end. The concerna is that the very late planted corn could run out of moisture before the crop is mature.

The emergency declaration will help farmers in the area renegotiate their contracts with the grain companies. Most farmers in the municipality forward contracted with the grain companies to deliver a specified quality of soybeans on a given date, but the wet conditions will not allow some farmers to meet the conditions of the contract. The emergency declaration allows them to renegotiate the conditions of the contract.

The deceleration also allows for the emergency repairs of roads and bridges without have to go through a lengthy bidding process. It will also allow for additional funds from the state and federal government.