Aug 31, 2017

Soy Acreage up, Soy Production Down in R. Grande do Sul in 2017/18

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

In their first estimate for the 2017/18 growing season for the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Emater/RS-Ascra is projecting an increase in soybean acreage, but a decrease in soybean production.

They are estimating that farmers in the state will increase their soybean acreage by 3.1% from 5.52 million hectares in 2016/17 to 5.70 million hectares in 2017/18. In spite of the increased acreage, they are projecting a 9.8% decrease in soybean production from 18.57 million tons last year to 16.75 million tons in 2017/18. The decreased production is the result of projected lower yields. They are estimating the statewide soybean yield in 2017/18 at 2,938 kg/ha (42.6 bu/ac), which would be 12.6% lower than last year.

The statewide soybean yield in Rio Grande do Sul in 2016/17 set an all-time record high of 3,360 kg/ha (48.7 bu/ac). This is an astounding yield for a state which is traditionally one of the lower yielding states in Brazil. The high yields are being attributed to the ideal growing conditions in 2016/17. Emater is expecting the soybean yields to be closer to trend line in 2017/18, thus the lower production forecast.

As farmers in the state increase their soybean acreage, they are expected to decrease their commercial corn acreage. The corn acreage in Rio Grande do Sul is projected to decline 11.6% compared to last year from 827,650 hectares in 2016/17 to 731,210 hectares in 2017/18. The total corn production in the state is projected at 4.59 million tons, which would be down 23.8% from last year's production of 6.03 million tons. The statewide corn yield is projected to decline 13.9% from last year to 6,287 kg/ha (96.8 bu/ac).

Farmers in the state reported record high corn yields in 2016/17 of 7,500 kg/ha (115.5 bu/ac) due to the ideal weather and yields in 2017/18 are expected to be closer to trend line.

A similar scenario is expected to play out all across Brazil in 2017/18 as soybean yields return to more normal levels after record high yields in 2016/17. Some locations recorded soybean yields in 2016/17 that were 15-20% above the previous record!