May 04, 2020

Dry Weather a Concern for Southern Safrinha Corn in Brazil

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

Dry weather in south-central Brazil continues to frustrate farmers who had hoped for a big safrinha corn production to take advantage of very high domestic corn prices, but those big corn crops are now being jeopardized by dry weather.

The second largest safrinha corn producing state in Brazil after Mato Grosso is Parana and some parts of the state are approaching 5-6 weeks without significant rainfall. There is rain in the forecast for this week, but it remains to be seen if the rains will be heavy enough to recharge the dry soils.

According to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral), the safrinha corn in Parana was 48% in vegetative development, 35% pollinating, 15% filling grain, and 2% mature as of earlier last week. Last week, Deral rated the safrinha corn at 6% poor, 30% average, and 64% good. The percentage of the crop rated good is down 13 points from the prior week and it will probable decline again in their next weekly report. Therefore, the corn in the state is at a critical stage of development that will determine the eventual yield.

The rainfall in the municipality of Toledo, which is located in western Parana, was 9% of normal in March and 22% of normal in April. Some farmers in the region have already estimated that their corn yields could be down 30% or more.

In the neighboring state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the situation is similar. The last significant rainfall in the state was April 13th and it has been dry since. While the rainfall on April 13th was beneficial, it was also accompanied by widespread hail which severely impacted the developing corn. There is some rain in the forecast for this week, but the amount and the coverage is uncertain.

Farmers in Mato Grosso do Sul reduced their safrinha corn acreage 9% this year to 1.97 million hectares. The acreage was reduced because the delayed soybean harvest pushed the corn planting outside of the recommended planting window.

In addition to dry weather, the safrinha corn in Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul can also be impacted by frost before the crop is mature in June and July.