Nov 13, 2013

Brazil Soybeans Being Planted at a Faster than Average Pace

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

Good planting conditions have allowed Brazilian farmers to accelerate their soybean planting pace over the last few weeks. After a slower than normal start due to dry weather, the nationwide soybean planting is now approximately 60% complete, which slightly ahead of the average pace.

In the three biggest soybean producing states in Brazil, the crop is 86% planted in Mato Grosso, 75% planted in Parana, and 20% planted in Rio Grande do Sul. The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are always planted later than in other states because many of the soybeans are double cropped after the wheat is harvested. In the state of Parana, the last soybeans to be planted are also double cropped after winter wheat. Currently, approximately 80% of the wheat is harvested in Parana and 20% of the wheat is harvested in Rio Grande do Sul.

The soybean planting is even more advanced in Mato Grosso do Sul where 96% of the crop has been planted. In many municipalities in the state the soybean planting will be complete by the end of the week.

The condition of the soybeans in Brazil that have already emerged is very good with 99% of the soybeans in Parana for example rated good and only 1% rated average.

The accelerated planting pace over the last few weeks is even more remarkable given the fact that Brazil will plant 3.7% to 6.4% more soybeans than in 2012/13 (Conab November Crop Estimate). Farmers have achieved this feat by purchasing more and bigger planting equipment to more efficiently plant the crop in a timely manner.

Most of the earliest planted soybeans in Mato Grosso and Parana were early or semi-early maturing soybean varieties. These soybeans will be harvested during January and early February allowing enough time for farmers to plant a second crop of corn or maybe even a second crop of soybeans if they feel that is a better option.

In Mato Grosso there are reports of farmers already spraying multiply times to control an early invasion of corn earworms. It is estimated that some farmers in the state may have to double their insecticide applications to control the caterpillar and the chemicals used are generally more expensive. Farmers in Mato Grosso who would normally make four insecticide applications per growing season may now have to do up to seven applications. It is estimated that each application will cost between R$ 20 to R$ 30 per hectare or US$ 3.70 to 5.50 per acre. Therefore, a total of seven applications may cost up to US$ 26.00 to US$ 38.50 per acre.

The state of Parana the insect has already been found in newly planted soybeans fields in northern Parana and southern Sao Paulo. Some farmers in Parana have already started spraying and for their first application, they applied a heavier than normal dose of insecticide in an attempt to keep the pest under control. In the state of Sao Paulo the insect has been found in wheat, soybeans, corn, and dry beans.

In the state is Rio Grande do Sul the insect has not yet been found and state agricultural officials have set up a series of traps all across the state in order to monitor if and where the insect appears.