Jun 16, 2021

Safrinha Corn Harvest Starting in Brazil, Early Yields are Variable

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

The main news last week concerning the 2020/21 Brazil corn crop was the fact that Conab lowered their corn estimate 10 million tons to 96.3 million. They cited dry weather across south-central Brazil for the last several months and a frost in western Parana as the reasons for the lower estimate. They also indicated that the estimate could still move lower especially if there are any additional frosts in Parana or Mato Grosso do Sul before the end of June. Conab is now more than 2.0 million tons below the USDA's latest Brazilian corn estimate of 98.5 million tons.

Mato Grosso Safrinha Corn - The early yields out of Mato Grosso are highly variable due to the irregular rainfall over the last several months (see earlier article). That article cited yields from the municipality of Nova Mutum in the south-central part of the state that suffered from periods of dry weather. The best corn yields are expected to be from northwestern Mato Grosso with the lowest yields from southern and eastern Mato Grosso.

In the municipality of Primavera do Leste in southeastern Mato Grosso, the President of the Rural Syndicate feels the corn yield will be down 30% from average. He is expecting yields in the range of 75 sacks per hectare (71.5 bu/ac) compared to the normal yields of 110 to 115 sacks per hectare (104.9 to 109.7 bu/ac).

Parana Safrinha Corn - The Department of Rural Economics reported earlier last week that the safrinha corn in Parana was 1% harvested with 4% in vegetative development, 25% pollinating, 61% filling grain, and 10% mature. The safrinha corn was rated 32% poor, 46% average, and 22% good.

The safrinha corn in Parana has suffered from dry weather for almost the entire growing season. The recent rains came too late for the crop to recuperate and a frost at the end of May resulted in additional damage. The corn yields in the state could end up being the lowest in more than ten years.

The "Soybean Free" period in Parana started on June 10th and it will extend until September 10th. During that period, no live soybean plants will be permitted in the state.

Thirteen Brazilian states have adopted the "Soybean Free" program as a way to reduce the spread of soybean rust from one growing season to the next. The soybean planting dates and the "Soybean Free" period for several states may be adjusted due to new regulations published by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Paraguay has also adopted a similar program prohibiting live soybean plants between growing season and in Paraguay it is called a "Phytosanitary Pause."

Mato Grosso do Sul Safrinha Corn - In the municipality of Douradina in southern Mato Grosso do Sul, the safrinha corn has received only 50 mm of precipitation (2 inches) during the entire growing season. According to the President of the Rural Syndicate of Douradina, farmers in the area had expected to harvest more than 100 sacks per hectare (95.4 bu/ac) similar to last year, but the drought has resulted in yield losses of 70% or more with many fields that will not be harvested.

Unfortunately, some farmers who had forward contracted some of their anticipated corn production will not produce enough corn to fulfill their contracts. They will be forced to renegotiate their contracts with the grain companies at a significant loss.

Conab lowered their 2020/21 Brazil corn estimate 10.1 million tons to 96.3 million (see earlier article). The USDA lowered their 2020/21 Brazil corn estimate3.5 million tons to 98.5 million.