Jul 27, 2017

Soybean Growing Season in Roraima, Brazil Same as in the U.S.

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

Brazilian farmers in the state of Roraima are preparing to start harvesting their soybeans. Roraima is the northern most state in Brazil and most of its area lies north of the equator, putting it in the northern hemisphere. As far as crop production is concerned, this state is an oddity in Brazil because the soybean growing season is basically the same as in the southern United States.

Farmers in Roraima plant their soybeans in April and May and they harvest their soybeans in August or September. The total soybean acreage in the state is very small at 32,000 hectares (79,000 acres) compared to Brazil's total soybean acreage of approximately 33 million hectares (81.5 million acres). The soybean acreage in 2017 represents a 30% increase over last year.

Most of the state of Roraima is Amazon lowland rainforest, but there is a region of cerrado vegetation in the northern part of the state and that is where farmers are producing soybeans, corn, and rice. The cerrado in Roraima is similar to the other cerrado regions in Brazil in that it is easily cleared, but very infertile. Given the right amounts of agricultural limestone and phosphorus and potassium, the region can be quite productive. First year soybeans can produce 40 to 50 sacks per hectare (35 to 43 bu/ac) with more established fields producing 60 to 70 sacks per hectare (52 to 61 bu/ac).

The soybeans produced in the state are trucked to ports on the Amazon River where they are exported. There are other areas of cerrado in the states of Amapa and Para where farmers are starting to produce soybeans. These areas are also north of the equator so their soybean season is also the same as in the U.S.