Dec 01, 2021

2021/22 Brazil's First Corn Crop Impacted by Dry Weather

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

The planting of the first corn crop in Brazil was 93% complete late last week with some of the early planted corn already pollinating and starting to fill grain. Concerns are mounting about dry weather in Rio Grande do Sul and the potential impact on the corn in the state which has about 18% (823,300 hectares) of Brazil's first corn crop acreage (4,457,200 hectares).

Rio Grande do Sul - Corn planting in the state advanced only 1% last week to 86% complete compared to 88% average according to Emater. Corn planting progressed fine earlier in the season, but recent dry weather has slowed the completion of the corn planting as farmers wait for additional soil moisture to insure germination.

Dry weather in the state is impacting the corn crop for their third year in a row. Some areas of northwestern Rio Grande do Sul have been approximately 40 days without rain until this past weekend when the area got a temporary reprieve from the dryness. The dryness could not have come at a worst time since the corn is setting ears and starting to pollinate. Even if rain would now return, the damage to the corn has already been done in the form of smaller ears and disappointing pollination. Rio Grande do Sul is expected to plant approximately 18% of Brazil's first corn crop acreage.

Late last week, a fast-moving frontal system dropped approximately 0.5 to 1.0 inches of precipitation across the state with isolated heavier amounts. This will give some temporary relief to the dryness, but much more rain is needed. Only a small part of the corn in the state has been critically hurt, but a larger part of the corn in the state has been significantly impacted by the dry weather.

Minas Gerais - The state of Minas Gerais has about the same first corn crop acreage as Rio Grande do Sul at 18% of the total. The corn in the state is nearly all planted and the corn is in good condition. The state has been receiving good rains and the forecast is calling for more.

Santa Catarina - The corn is completely planted in the state and if the weather continues to cooperate, potential yields are in the range of 180 sacks per hectare (171 bu/ac). Unfortunately, the forecast for the rest of the growing season is calling for below normal rainfall, but the distribution of the rainfall will be critical for maintaining the corn's yield potential.

Parana - The first corn crop in the state was 100% planted as of earlier last week according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The corn was 79% in vegetative development, 17% pollinating, and 4% filling grain. The corn was rated 5% average and 95% good.

Deral estimates that farmers in the state planted 420,128 hectares of first crop corn (1.03 million acres) and the crop will produce 4.1 million tons. They are estimating a yield of 166 sacks per hectare (158 bu/ac), but that will depend on the rainfall in December and January.

Brazil's 2021 Corn Imports - From January through October, Brazil imported 2.13 million tons of corn according to the Brazilian Foreign Trade Secretariat. During the first three weeks of November, Brazil importing 397,464 tons of corn and at the current pace of imports, Brazil could import between 3.0 and 3.5 million tons of corn in 2021.