Nov 25, 2020

Brazil Soybeans 81% Planted, Dryness in Southern Brazil Worries

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

There continues to be concerns about the delayed start to the soybean planting in Brazil and the uneven weather thus far in the early growing season. Soybeans have a remarkable ability to withstand adverse conditions early in the season only to end up with normal yields if the weather cooperates during the critical reproductive period. Therefore, any dryness during the pod filling period would be more important than dryness during vegetative development.

The weather in Brazil this week is starting off with high temperatures and generally dry conditions across much of western Brazil. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid to upper 90's in most areas with some areas of Mato Grosso do Sul over 100 degrees. The rainfall this week is expected to be light with the heavier amounts across the far northern and northeastern areas. The rainfall is not expected to be heavy enough to recharge the soil moisture.

By mid-week, the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and parts of Parana are forecasted to receive some much needed rainfall, maybe as much as an inch. If verified, they would be the first rains in a long time, but not enough to ease the overall drought in the region. Temperatures in Rio Grande do Sul are expected to be in the mid to upper 90's before the rain moves in.

Soybean planting in Brazil reached 81% late last week compared to 79% last year according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 11% for the week. Improved rainfall last week across central and northeastern Brazil encouraged rapid soybean planting. In far southern Brazil, dry conditions continue to slow soybean planting.

Mato Grosso Soybeans - The soybeans in Mato Grosso were 98.4% planted late last week compared to 98.4% last year and 95.8% average according to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea). The first half of the crop was planted late, but more rapid planting started during the second half of October allowing the second half of the crop to be planted about on tine.

Conab is estimating that the soybean acreage in Mato Grosso will increase 2.8% to 10,2 million hectares (25.1 million acres) and that the majority of the increased acreage is coming from the conversion of degraded pastures to soybean production. Conab is estimating the statewide yield at 3,500 kg/ha (52.1 bu/ac) and the total production at 36.8 million tons, which would be an increase of 2.7% compared to last year.

Parana Soybeans - Farmers in the state of Parana in southern Brazil are wrapping up the planting of their summer crops. The soybean planting in Parana is 92% complete as of earlier this week according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The soybeans were 15% germinating, 82% in vegetative development, and 3% flowering. The soybeans were rated 3% poor, 27% average, and 70% good. The percentage of the crop rated good is 10% lower than last year at this time.

There are reports that some of the soybeans may need to be replanted due to poor plant populations resulting from dry conditions especially in the northern part of the state. Additional rainfall will be need over the next several weeks to avoid potential yield reductions. Deral is estimating that the state will produce 20.5 million tons of soybeans in 2020/21, which would be down 1% compared to 2019/20.

Municipality of Doutor Camargo - In the municipality of Doutor Camargo, which is located in northern Parana, the soybean planting was delayed 30 to 40 days due to dry weather. Some of the earlier planted soybeans had to be replanted. The rainfall has now improved and the soybeans could still have normal yields if the rainfall going forward is good and there are no more dry periods. Any safrinha corn would have to be planted very late. Farmers forward contracted a lot of their anticipated production for prices in the range of R$ 80 to R$ 100 per sack (approximately $6.90 to $8.60 per bushel). The current spot price for soybeans is R$ 130 per sack (approximately $11.15 per bushel).

Rio Grande do Sul soybeans - The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul were 35% planted late last week according to Emater. Dry weather has slowed the soybean planting in the state, but the forecast is calling for improved chances of rain this week.

Bahia Soybeans - Soybeans in northeastern Brazil are usually some of the latest planted soybeans in Brazil, but the summer rains started early this year in northeastern Brazil and so too did the soybean planting in the state of Bahia, which is the largest soybean planting state in northeastern Brazil. According to estimates from the Irrigated Farmers Association of Bahia (Aiba), all the irrigated soybeans in Bahia have been planted and 70% of the dryland soybeans have been planted.

Farmers are encouraged by the early start and the abundant rainfall and they are anticipating a record soybean acreage and a record soybean production in 2020/21. Bahia is the second largest cotton producing state in Brazil and according to Aiba, farmers in the state reduced their cotton acreage by 15% due to mediocre prices and they switched some of their cotton acreage to soybeans and corn. They estimate that the soybean acreage in the state will increase 5% and the corn acreage will increase 6%. The 2020/21 soybean acreage in Bahia is expected to increase 80,000 hectares (1,976,000 acres)...

If the rainfall distribution is good during the growing season, Aiba is estimating the 2020/21 soybean yield at 66 sacks per hectare (59 bu/ac) and the total production of 6.7 million tons, which would represent an increase of 12% compared to last year.