Feb 16, 2015

Crops in Western Bahia Impacted by Dry Weather

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

The Farmer and Irrigators Association of Bahia (Aiba) released their second assessment of the crops in western Bahia last week and they estimated that the corn yields in their region of the state would average 135 sacks per hectare (8,100 kg/ha or 125 bu/ac) which is down 17% from their initial estimate of 163 sacks per hectare (9,780 kg/ha or 150 bu/ac). This is the first estimate made by the organization since the dry weather of December and January impacted the crops in western Bahia. Aiba estimates that the 220,000 hectares of full-season corn in western Bahia is expected to produce 1.78 million tons which is down from the initial estimate of 2.1 million tons.

The final corn production in western Bahia won't be known until the corn crop is harvested in May.

Conab conducts the official crop estimates in Brazil and for the state of Bahia (not just western Bahia), Conab is estimating that the corn crop will be 3.44 million tons. The difference in the two estimates is because there are a lot of small family farmers in eastern Bahia that produce corn for their small livestock operations, whereas Aiba only surveys large commercial corn producers in western Bahia.

For soybeans, Aiba is now estimating the yields in western Bahia at 50 sacks per hectare (3,000 kg/ha or 43.5 bu/ac), which is down 11% compared to the initial estimate of 56 sacks per hectare (3,360 kg/ha or 48.7 bu/ac). The total soybean production estimate for western Bahia was reduced from 4.77 million tons to 4.26 million tons. Conab is estimating the state's soybean production at 4.06 million tons. These two estimates are very similar because virtually all of soybeans in Bahia re produced in the western region of the state.

The soybeans in Bahia are now flowering and setting pods and the crop will be harvested in April. Forecasters are calling for below normal rainfall in the state for the next several months, which could be problematic for the soybean crop.

Bahia is the second largest cotton producing state in Brazil after Mato Grosso and farmers in the state just finished planting their cotton crop in early February.

Aiba is an organization composed of representatives from producer organizations, grain companies, and governmental agencies that meet periodically to assess the agricultural sector in western Bahia.