Oct 03, 2017

Brazil Planting Progress Slow, but should now Improve with Rain

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

Much needed rains fell across central and southern Brazil late last week and over the weekend and there are more showers in the forecast for early this week before the weather turns dryer once again. These rains were generally heavy enough for Brazilian farmers to start planting their 2017/18 soybean crop.

According to AgRural, the soybean planting nationwide in Brazil reached 1.5% late last week compared to 5% last year and 4% average. The soybeans in Mato Grosso are 1% planted compared to 6.5% last year. The soybean planting in Parana is the most advanced at 7%, but that is still much slower than last year when 17% of the crop had been planted by this date.

At the present time, I would characterize the early planting in Brazil as somewhat slow, but improving. Planting soybeans in October is not a problem in Brazil as long as the weather during the remainder of the growing season cooperates. It would be much more important for the eventual soybean yield if there are extended periods of dry weather during November-December-January when the crop is setting pods and filling pods.

The full-season corn planting in Brazil is 23% complete, which is a little slower than the five-year average. According to AgRural, they are expecting the full-season corn acreage in the state of Parana to decline 28% and in Rio do Sul, they expect the full-season corn acreage to decline 16%. The stated reasons for the declines are low corn prices and better returns for soybeans. The hectares not planted to full-season corn are expected to be switch to soybeans instead.

I am expecting the Brazilian total corn acreage to decline 10%, which includes a significant decline in the full-season acreage (maybe 20% or more) and a hold even or a slight decline in the safrinha corn acreage (maybe 2% or more).

At the present time, I would characterize the full-season corn planting in Brazil as a little slow and somewhat uncertain. The uncertain part concerns the final full-season corn acreage, which is yet to be determined. We must also remember that the full-season corn in Brazil will represent only approximately 30% of Brazil's total corn production in 2017/18. The safrinha corn acreage is also uncertain because the acreage will depend on when the soybeans get harvested and the domestic price of corn early next year.