Nov 02, 2021

Brazil's 2020/21 Soybean Planting Passes Half-Way Mark

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

The weather in Brazil is cooperating, the soybeans are being planted very quickly, and the crop is off to a good start. For the time being, everything looks positive for the 2021/22 Brazilian soybean crop.

The 2021/22 soybeans in Brazil were 52% planted as of late last week compared to 42% last year and 40.4% average according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 14% for the week and it continues to be the second fastest planting of Brazilian soybeans. Mato Grosso leads the way with 83% planted vs. 59% average. Parana is 63% planted vs. 65% average.

There were active rains across central and northern Brazil over the weekend with lessor amounts in far southern Brazil. The forecast this week is calling for continued good rains across northern Brazil and additional rains in southern Brazil.

The early season weather continues to be beneficial in Brazil with widespread rains across central and northern Brazil. The September rains started slow, but the rainfall increased significantly during October. The state of Parana received excessive rains during October resulting in slower planting and some fields needing to be replanted.

The one potential area of concern is the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul where the rainfall has been less generous. If the weather turns dryer in Rio Grande do Sul, that would be consistent with what meteorologists have been forecasting with La Nina - dryer-than-normal weather during November-December-January in southern Brazil and Argentina. The way the weather has been going this early growing season, instead of forecasting dryer conditions in southern Brazil, maybe the forecast should be dryer weather for just the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Mato Grosso - Farmers in Mato Grosso had planted 83.1% of their soybeans as of late last week compared to 53.9% last year and 59.7% average according to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea). This represents an advance of 14% for the week. The planting is most advanced in the western part of the state where 95% of the soybeans have been planted. The slowest planting pace is in the northeastern part of the state where 67% of the soybeans have been planted. Soybean planting in Mato Grosso continues to be the fastest in the last five years.

In the municipality of Ipiranga do Norte in northern Mato Grosso, the rains have not been as abundant as hoped for, but they have been enough to advance the soybean planting to 95%. Rainfall was OK for planting but not enough to replenish the soil moisture for the rest of the growing season and a few areas had to be replanted. If the weather cooperates for the rest of the growing season, farmers expect soybean yields in the range of 60 sacks per hectare (53.6 bu/ac) maybe topping out as high as 80 sacks per hectare (71.5 bu/ac).

The first soybeans should be harvested starting January 5th, which is very good timing for planting the safrinha corn. Farmers in the municipality have been slow to sell their 2021/22 soybeans with only 35% forward contracted. They do not want to repeat the same mistake of last year when they forward contracted their soybeans for R$ 60.00 per sack (approximately $5.10 per bushel) and then prices went to R$ 150.00 per sack at harvest (approximately $12.60 per bushel).

Below is the soybean planting progress in Mato Grosso from Imea. The red line is this year's progress, the dark line is last year's progress, and the dotted line is the five-year average. The green area is the maximum and minimum for the last five years.


Parana - The soybeans in Parana were 63% planted as of late last week and the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) reported the crop was 47% germinating and 53% in vegetative development. The condition of the soybeans was rated 4% average and 96% good. Parts of Parana have received too much rain resulting in slowed planting and soil crusting. In isolated areas of western Parana, some of the soybeans will need to be replanted.

Deral is forecasting that the soybean acreage in the state will increase 1% to 5.62 million hectares. The soybean production is expected to increase 6% to 20.8 million tons. The rains started slow in September, but the state has received ample moisture during October.

In the municipality of Assis Chateaubriand in western Parana, the summer rains were slow to arrive in September and now in October, they have received too much rain. Recent severe weather brought heavy rain accompanied by high wind and hail which will force farmers to replant some of their soybeans that had already emerged. What could complicate the situation even more is the high cost of inputs and the unavailability of some inputs such as the desired soybean variety.

In the municipality of Palotina in western Parana, farmers have finished planting their soybeans about 30 days earlier than last year, but heavy rains and hail may farce some fields to be replanted due to poor stands. Farmers have been advised to check their plant populations to see if replanting is needed and if they would be able to purchase the inputs needed for replanting.

The average spot price for soybeans last week was R$ 153.00 per sack (approximately $12.90 per bushel) and farmers have forward contracted 8% of their anticipated production compared to 40% average. The high winds also caused extensive damage to poultry houses in the region.

Rio Grande do Sul - Farmers in the state have planted 5% of their soybeans, which is appropriate for this time of year. The wheat in the state is 28% harvested, so as the wheat harvest progresses, so too will the soybean planting.

Goias - The weather in southern Goias has been favorable for planting and the forecast is calling for more rain.

Mato Grosso do Sul - Soybean planting has been faster in the northern part of the state compared to southern Mato Grosso do Sul where wet weather has delayed some of the planting and resulted in some of the soybeans being replanted.

In the municipality of Chapadao do Sul in northern Mato Grosso do Sul, farmers have planted 80% of their soybeans and if the weather cooperates, they expect soybean yields in the range of 65 sacks per hectare (58 bu/ac). The rapid planting of the soybeans should allow for the safrinha corn to be planted within the ideal planting window. Farmers in the municipality have forward contracted 35% of their anticipated soybean production compared to 50 to 60% which is normal for this time of the year.

Northeastern Brazil - Soybean planting starts later in northeastern Brazil because the summer rains generally start later than in the rest of Brazil. The region has started to receive rain and farmers are starting to plant their soybeans in southern Maranhao as well as in the states of Piaui and Tocantins. Planting was already underway in the irrigated areas of western Bahia.