Nov 15, 2017

South America 2017/18 Spring Planting Progress

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

Brazil Soybeans - The rainfall last week across central Brazil was probably the best thus far this growing season and there is more rain in the forecast. Some of the driest areas such as Goias and eastern Mato Grosso received 1-3 inches. In Goias, farmers were very relieved to receive the rain since the ideal planting window for soybeans closed late last week. They will still plant their soybeans and hope for favorable weather during the growing season. They also received good rains in northeastern Brazil where the soybean planting is now getting underway.

Nationwide, AgRural reported that the 2017/18 Brazilian soybean crop was 57% planted as of last Thursday. The planting advanced 14% last week, which was the best weekly performance thus far this growing season. The planting pace still trails last year when 63% of the crop had been planted, but the deficit is getting smaller. A week ago, planting was 10% behind last year's pace, and now it is 6% behind last year.

Farmers in Mato Grosso have planted 80% of their soybeans compared to 88% last year at this time. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported last Friday that the planting in the western part of the state is the most advanced at 98% complete. In central Mato Grosso, which has the largest percentage of the state's soybean crop, the planting is 92% complete. The slowest plating is in the northeastern region of the state where 30% of the soybeans have been planted.

Going into last week, the Brazilian soybean planting was most delayed in the state of Goias, but the farmers made good progress last week and the soybean crop is now 53% planted. There have been reports of poor soybean stands in parts of eastern Mato Grosso and Goias, which could eventually impact yields especially if the weather later in the growing season does not cooperate.

The Department of Rural Economics in the state of Parana (Deral) reported that 80% of the soybeans had been planted as of last Tuesday. Of the soybeans that have emerged in Parana, 4% are rated average and 96% are rated good.

In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, 30% of the soybeans have been planted and early reports indicate good soil moisture and good germination.

Brazil Corn - The full-season corn in south-central Brazil is 54% planted compared to 69% last year and 56% average. In southern Brazil, the full-season corn planting is basically complete with Parana reporting that 99% of the corn has been planted. In Parana, Deral is rating the full-season corn crop at 11% average and 89% good. Deral is expecting the full-season corn production in Parana to be 3.06 million tons, which would be down 38% from last year.

Planting of the full-season corn in Minas Gerais and Goias is still a work on progress. The rains in the region have been irregular and farmers recently have been more focused on planting their soybeans.

Argentina Soybeans - The soybeans in Argentina are 12% planted according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, which is equal to last year's pace. The most advanced planting is in central Argentina especially in the northern core region where approximately 35% of the soybeans have been planted. In southern Argentina, the soybean planting is 5-10% complete, while in northern Argentina, it is 0-5% complete.

Planting in parts of Buenos Aires and La Pampa provinces is still being hindered by wet conditions, while in parts of Cordoba, it is getting dry. The near term forecast is calling for only light showers in Cordoba, parts of Santa Fe, and northern Buenos Aires. This is the area in Argentina we need to watch going forward. At this point, I would not say this is a major concern, but another week or two of dry weather, and it would become more interesting.

Argentina Corn - Nationwide, the corn planting advanced 1% last week to 35% complete. This is a little slow for November when the corn planting usually advances 2-3% per week. The corn planting pace is now slightly behind last year and the average planting pace.

The most advanced corn planting is in central Argentina especially in the northern core region and in the southern core region where 80-85% of the corn has been planted. In southern Argentina the planting pace is variable with 20-50% of the corn planted depending on region. In northern Argentina, the corn is 0-20% planted. The early emerged corn is generally in good condition with the most advanced corn in the 3-6 leaf stage.

Cordoba and Santa Fe are major corn producing regions of Argentina and parts of those two provinces are in a dryer pattern. If it stays dry in those regions, the corn planting pace will remain slower than normal.