Jun 29, 2021

2020/21 Brazil Corn - Frost/Freeze Could Impact Safrinha Corn

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

At this writing, the coldest air of the season will move into southern Brazil Monday night and into Tuesday and Wednesday with the potential for frost/freeze and maybe even some snow in the higher elevations. The coldest temperatures may occur Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and there may also be several nights in a row with freezing temperatures. Brazil is experiencing the longest nights of the year right now, which allows for even more cooling.

If a frost/freeze does occur in western and northern Parana and southern Mato Grosso do Sul, it could cause additional damage to the safrinha corn. As of earlier last week, the safrinha corn in Parana was 14% pollinating and 61% filling grain. Approximately 30% of the corn in Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul could be susceptible to additional losses if the frost/freeze forecast verifies.

The safrinha corn in Brazil is approximately 5-7% harvested compared to 15% last year at this time. Early reports continue to show a lot of variability in yields. The first harvested corn is expected to be the best yielding because it was planted the earliest.

Mato Grosso Safrinha Corn - According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), farmers in the state have harvested 9.7% of their 2020/21 safrinha corn compared to 31.5% last year and 26% average. This represents an advance of 5.8% for the week. The most advanced harvest pace is in northeastern Mato Grosso where 18.3% of the corn has been harvested. The slowest harvest pace is in southeastern Mato Grosso where 3.8% of the corn has been harvested.

The graph below depicts the safrinha harvest progress in Mato Grosso. The dark red line is this year's harvest progress with the yellow line representing last year's progress and the dashed line representing the 5-year average. The yellow shaded area is the maximum and minimum harvest progress over the last 5-years.


Drought Severely Impacted Safrinha Corn in Northern Parana - Corn farmers in northern Parana are facing a difficult safrinha corn harvest. The crop was planted a month later than normal and then the summer rainy season ended earlier than normal. In the municipality of Maringa in northern Parana, some areas were without rain for a period of 90-days.

According to the President of the Rural Syndicate of Maringa, the average corn loss in the region will be 50% to 60% and in the areas with the least rainfall, the losses could be 80% to 100%.

The safrinha corn harvest will start in mid-July so there is still the potential for additional losses if a frost occurs within the next few weeks.

Some of the farmers who forward contracted their anticipated corn production are going to have problems harvesting enough corn to meet their contracts. This will force them to renegotiate their contracts with the grain companies.

The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) reported that 24% of the safrinha corn in Parana is mature and that 1% had been harvested. Deral lowered their estimate for the 2020/21 safrinha crop by 500,000 tons to 9.8 million tons. Their current estimate is 4.9 million tons lower than their original estimate. Parana is the second largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil after Mato Grosso

Goias Safrinha Corn - Farmers in the municipality of Rio Verde in southwestern Goias have started to harvest their safrinha corn. According to the director of the Rural Syndicate of Rio Verde, farmers in the area had anticipated corn yields in the range of 130 to 150 sacks per hectare (124 to 143 bu/ac), but their yields may be down 40% or more. The first yields were 45 sacks per hectare (43 bu/ac), then they improved to 51 sacks per hectare (48.6 bu/ac) and now they are in the range of 70 sacks per hectare (66.7 bu/ac). The next corn to be harvested is the corn planted in March after the ideal planting window had closed and the yields are expected to be very disappointing.

Agroconsult's Harvest Rally - After the completion of their annual crop tour which is called the Harvest Rally (Rally da Safra), Agroconsult lowered their estimate of the 2020/21 Brazilian corn estimate to x million tons. They lowered their estimate of the safrinha corn production to 65.3 million tons, which was down 900,000 tons from their prior estimate and down 22% from their January estimate.

Their crop tour highlighted areas significantly impacted by 40 to 70 days of drought with the greatest in the states of Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul. They estimated the corn yield in Parana at 58.0 sacks/ha (55.3 bu/ac), Mato Grosso do Sul at 54.5 sacks/ha (52.0 bu/ac), Minas Gerais at 56.6 sacks/ha (54.0 bu/ac), Sao Paulo at 60 sacks/ha (57.2 bu/ac), and Goias at 67.8 sacks/ha (64.6 bu/ac). The biggest producing state is Mato Grosso where they estimated the yield at 94.5 sacks/ha (90.1 bu/ac), which is down 14% compared to last year.