Jan 26, 2016

Brazil Soybean Harvest Starts Slowly with 1.5% Harvested

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

According to AgRural, the nationwide soybean harvest in Brazil is 1.5% complete compared to 3.5% last year and 2% for the 5-year average. The soybeans ready for harvesting are mostly in Mato Grosso and Parana and wet weather in both states has hindered the early soybean harvest. There are also reports of poor seed quality and even some soybeans sprouting in the pods in the wettest areas. The weather last week was somewhat dryer in Mato Grosso and dryer is Parana, so the situation is improving.

Mato Grosso - The weather tended to dry out somewhat in Mato Grosso as the week progressed especially in the southern part of the state. This has allowed for a pick up in the harvest pace and the soybeans in the state are now 3.6% harvested compared to 7.4% last year.

In the municipality of Campo Verde, which is located in southeastern Mato Grosso, 10% of the soybeans have been harvested, but another 20% of the crop has been ready for harvest for at least 15 days, but wet weather has kept the combines out of the fields. The wet weather has already negatively impacted the seed quality and the longer it stays wet, the worst the situation will become.

Any time that mature soybeans are exposed to prolonged periods of wet weather, the quality of the crop can deteriorate quickly, especially if the temperatures are hot like they are in Brazil. Various fungal organisms can enter the pods and colonize the seed resulting in shrunken, moldy, and light weight soybeans. Under extremely wet conditions, the seed can actually germinate while still in the pod resulting in a complete loss.

Canal Rural reported last week that some farmers in Campo Verde may have already lost 12-15% of the soybean yield potential of their early maturing soybeans due to the wet conditions and that the losses will continue to mount if the weather stays wet. Farmers who had expected to harvest 60 sacks per hectare (3,600 kg/ha or 52 bu/ac) are reporting yields of 53 sacks per hectare (3,180 kg/ha or 46 bu/ac).

Parana - The early soybean harvest is most advanced in the western part of the state and statewide approximately 2.5% of the soybeans are harvested compared to 5% last year.

Goias - The soybean harvest in Goias is 0.3% complete compared to 3% last year. In Jatai, which is located in southwestern Goias, it is estimated that 12% of the soybeans are ready for harvest, but very few fields have been harvested due to wet conditions.

Mato Grosso do Sul - The Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Mato Grosso do Sul (Aprosoja-MS) estimates that the soybeans in the state are 2% harvested, which is the equivalent of 48,000 hectares. Up until this point, the harvest pace has been slowed by wet weather, but as the weather dries out, the pace will quicken. The southern part of the state suffered from heavy rainfall over the last several months, but Aprosoja-MS is still estimating the 2015/16 soybean production in the state at 7.1 million tons or 4.1% more than last year.

Rio Grande do Sul - The early maturing soybeans in the state are now setting and filling pods and farmers in the state are anxiously awaiting the rainfall forecasted for this week because the weather during January has generally been a dry across the state.

Rondonia - We generally don't hear very much about crop production in the state of Rondonia, which is located northwest of Mato Grosso and within the Amazon Basin, but, they do grow soybeans in the state and early yield reports from the city of Cerejeiras indicate some disappointing early yields. Cerejeiras is located in the southern part of the state next to the border with Mato Grosso. The problem in the region was also dry weather during November and December that impacted early maturing soybeans that were filling pods at the time.

The early soybean yields are coming in at 30-35 sacks per hectare (26 to 30 bu/ac) when normally they would be 60-65 sacks per hectare (52 to 56 bu/ac). Farmers finally finished planting their soybeans at the end of December, which is a month past the ideal planting time. The delayed soybean harvest also means that the safrinha corn planting will be delayed as well. It is estimated that 30% to 40% of the safrinha corn will be planted after the planting window closes on March 10. Farmers are also expected to cut their cost of production for the safrinha corn by using cheaper seed and reduced amounts of fertilizers.