Feb 21, 2017

2016/17 Brazil Soybeans 26% Harvested

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

Brazil's soybean crop is now 26% harvested according to AgRural. This compares to 23% harvested last year and 18% average. That was the harvest pace as of last Thursday and farmers managed to get more harvesting done over the weekend between showers. The near term forecast looks OK with an increasing chance of rain later this week. Generally, the soybean yields continue to be reported as very good with a few exceptions of poorer quality seed.

Mato Grosso - Last week started out very wet in Mato Grosso, but it dried out somewhat later in the week and over the weekend. By the end of last week, farmers in Mato Grosso had harvested approximately 52% of their soybeans compared to 33% a year earlier. The statewide soybean harvest advanced approximately 6% last week. The forecast is for more rain this week especially in the western part of the state which received the most rainfall last week as well.

The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is estimating the statewide soybean yield at 54 sacks per hectare (47 bu/ac) compared to 49.7 sacks per hectare last year (43.2 bu/ac). In isolated areas of western Mato Grosso where the recent rains have been the heaviest, farmers are harvesting their soybeans at high moisture (25%) just to get them out of the field and to prevent further deterioration of the seed. There have also been a few reports of soybeans sprouting in the pods, but this is the exception.

The municipality of Sorriso in central Mato Grosso is the largest soybean producing municipality in Brazil and farmers in the municipality have harvested approximately 80% of their 2016/17 soybean crop according to the president of the local Rural Syndicate. Farmers have managed to harvest between showers, but recent heavy rains have slowed the end of the harvest. Farmers in the region are concerned that the seed quality of the last 20% of the crop could be impacted by continued wet weather.

Farmers in the municipality plant approximately 630,000 hectares of soybeans. This is also a major area for safrinha crop production as well. The president of the Rural Syndicate expects farmers in the municipality to plant 450,000 hectares of safrinha corn, 20-40,000 hectares of safrinha cotton, and 25,000 hectares of safrinha dry beans. Farmers in the region plant their safrinha cotton first because the ideal planting window for safrinha cotton generally closes by the end of January. The ideal planting window for safrinha corn generally closes about February 20th.

Parana - Of the major soybean planting states in Brazil, Parana is the furthest behind in harvesting soybeans. AgRural estimates that the soybean crop in Parana was 20% harvested as of last Thursday compared to 43% last year. The Department of Rural Economics for the state of Parana (Deral) reported on Tuesday that farmers in Parana had harvested 15% of their 2016/17 soybean crop.

Mato Grosso do Sul - Approximately 32% of the soybeans in the state have been harvested compared to 38% last year at this time. There have not been many reports of poor quality seed as yet, but continued wet weather could result in lighter weight seed and moldy seed.

In regions of southern Mato Grosso do Sul, the soybean harvest has been slowed due to wet weather. The city of Dourados and surrounding areas of southern Mato Grosso do Sul have received nearly 200 mm of rainfall (8 inches) during the first 13 days of February. That is nearly double what is expected for the entire month of February. About half of the soybeans in the region have been harvested and farmers are waiting for dryer weather to resume harvesting.

Goias - The soybeans in Goias and the Federal District (this is where Brasilia is located) are 43% harvested comparted to 28% last year at this time. In the region of Jatai in southwestern Goias, farmers have harvested approximately 40% of their soybeans in-between rains. The yields in Jatai are averaging about 55 sacks per hectare or 47.8 bu/ac. This is much different than last year when hot and dry weather negatively impacted the crop.

Current domestic soybean prices in Jatai are in the range of R$ 64.00 to R$ 65.00 per sack or approximately $9.40 to $9.50 per bushel. Farmers who have not sold their soybeans are afraid that they may have "missed the boat" because several months ago, the soybean prices were in the range of R$ 80.00 per sack or $11.75 per bushel.

Rio Grande do Sul - There have not been any reports of soybeans being harvested in the state as yet, which is normal for this time of the year. The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are generally in excellent condition and the crop is in the midst of filling pods. The soybeans in the state are 20% mature and waiting for harvest, 40% filling pods, 25% flowering, and 10% in vegetative development.