Oct 23, 2018

2018/19 Brazil Soybeans being planted at Record Fast Pace

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

The weather in Brazil continues to be beneficial for soybean planting and early crop development. In southern Brazil the rains have been heavy with a few areas probably receiving too much rain. Central Brazil continues to receive beneficial rainfall. The big change last week was the rainfall in northeastern Brazil. That area had been dry until last week, but they received good rains last week and again over the weekend. The forecast also looks generally favorable all across Brazil.

Early planting in Brazil does not necessarily mean optimum soybean yields. The eventual soybean yields will be determined by the weather later in the growing season during pod filling. With everything being equal though, I would prefer early planting as opposed to late planting.

Farmers in Brazil continue to plant their 2018/19 soybeans at a record pace. According to AgRural, farmers have planted 34% of their intended soybeans compared to 20% last year and 18% for the 5-year average. This represent an advance of 14% for the week and it is the fastest pace since AgRural has been keeping track. The previous record was 28% planted by this date during the 2016/17 growing season.

Mato Grosso - AgRural estimates that farmers in Mato Grosso have planted 62% of their soybeans compared to 27% last year and 26% for the 5-year average. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is not quite as optimistic and they have the soybean planting at 50%. Regardless of who is correct, this represents a record fast planting pace for the state. The western part of the state is most advanced at 77% planted and northeastern Mato Grosso has the slowest planting at 26%.

Parana - Recent rains have slowed the planting progress a little in the state, but farmers have still managed to plant 48% of their soybeans compared to 53% last year and 44% for the 5-year average. In western Parana, the soybean planting is essentially complete, which is a record early completion. They started planting soybeans in western Parana on September 11th.

Mato Grosso do Sul - Recent heavy rains have slowed planting a little, but farmers have still managed to plant 35% of their soybeans compared to 30% last year and 27% for the 5-year average.

Goias - Farmers in Goias have only been planting their soybeans for three weeks and they have already planted 50% of their soybeans compared to 5% last year and 10% for the 5-year average. Farmers in Goias planted about 35% of their soybeans in one week. Planting is most advanced in southwestern Goias which is responsible for about 40% of the state's soybean production.

Other States - The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are 3% planted, Santa Catarina is 11%, Sao Paulo 34%, Minas Gerais is 13% and generally less than 5% of the soybeans have been planted in northeastern Brazil.

There have been some questions concerning the potential yield difference between early maturing soybeans (about 95-day maturity) and late maturing soybeans (about 120-day maturity). Early maturing soybeans in Brazil are generally a little lower yielding than late maturing soybeans, but that will depend on the weather during the critical pod filling stage. The early maturing soybeans offer the advantage of being in the field for a shorter period of time, thus requiring fewer fungicide and insecticide applications.

The biggest advantage of early maturing soybeans is that it affords more time for safrinha corn planting especially if the early maturing soybeans are planted early. Brazilian farmers are already speculating that since the soybeans are being planted so early, all the safrinha corn will be planted within the ideal planting window next January and February. If that turns out to be the case, then the yield potential for the safrinha corn next year could be very good.