May 27, 2020

2019/20 Safrinha Corn Harvest Starting in Mato Grosso

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

The much anticipated 2019/20 safrinha corn harvest in Mato Grosso is underway according to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea). Imea reported that 0.6% of the safrinha corn had been harvested as of Tuesday, May 26. The corn that is being harvested was planted in January under center pivot irrigation. The irrigation allowed farmers to plant their soybeans as soon as the soybean-free period ended last September 16th. The corn was planted immediately after the soybeans were harvested. The harvest pace in the state will accelerated during the month of June.

Imea estimates that the safrinha corn acreage in Mato Grosso increased 7% in 2019/20 to 5.2 million hectares (12.8 million acres). They are forecasting that the statewide corn yield will be down 6 sacks per hectare (5.5 bu/ac) compared to last year and the total production will be 32.7 million tons.

One thing that is different this harvest season is the fact that farmers in Mato Grosso have already sold 82% of their anticipated 2019/20 corn production compared to 62% last year at this time. This record fast selling pace for safrinha corn is the result of recent record high corn prices in the state. Farmers in Mato Grosso they have also sold approximately 30% of their 2020/21 corn production.

Forward contracting of this year's crop started last September and the price has averaged R$ 29.00 per sack. The corn price over the last several months has been much higher due to the depreciation of the Brazilian currency.

Mato Grosso is the largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil and the corn production in the state is expected to be similar to last year. The safrinha corn production in the more southern areas is expected to be lower than last year due to prolonged periods of dry weather especially in the states of Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul.

In fact, the consulting firm Agroconsult lowered their estimate of Brazil's safrinha corn production to 71.7 million tons compared to their 72.2 million ton estimate earlier in May. Their current estimate is 3 million tons below their estimate of March 31. They are estimating that the nationwide safrinha corn yield will be 90.1 sacks per hectare (83.2 bu/ac) or 10.8% less than last year.