Dec 28, 2021

2021/22 Brazil Corn Estimate Lowered 1.0 mt to 114.0 Million

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

The first corn crop in Brazil is split about evenly between areas suffering from moisture stress, about 40%, and areas receiving good rain, about 40%. The driest states are Rio Grande do Sul and Parana where corn losses range from only small reductions to 100% loss. In the 40% of the crop receiving good rain, corn yields are expected to be above average.

First crop corn accounts for approximately 25% of Brazil's total corn crop with the safrinha crop accounting for approximately 75% of the total. The first corn crop is going to be disappointing, but there is a tremendous financial incentive to plant as much safrinha corn as possible due to the strong domestic corn prices. The question is will farmers have all the needed inputs for the safrinha corn and will the weather cooperate?

Rio Grande do Sul - The state of Rio Grande do Sul is responsible for approximately 18% of Brazil's first corn crop and Emater reported late last week that 92% of the corn had been planted and that 31% was germinating/vegetative development, 19% was pollinating, 32% filling grain, 17% mature, and 1% harvested.

The corn crop has been severely impacted by hot and dry conditions which started in November and continued through December. The earlier planted corn was impacted the most because it was pollinating and filling grain under adverse conditions. Most of the corn is grown in the northern part of the state and that is where it has been the driest. Most of the corn losses are irreversible and any recent rain was not enough to reverse the situation. Many farmers are already submitting claims for losses under crop insurance.

Corn losses in the state are in the range of 30-60% or more depending on location. There are reports of farmers cutting the worst fields for silage or forage so they can plant soybeans or another corn crop if the weather cooperates.

The municipality of Santa Rosa in northwestern Rio Grande do Sul is typical of the corn crop in the state. Approximately 45% of the corn in the municipality is mature and 2% has been harvested. At the start of the growing season, the corn yield in the municipality was estimated at 8,360 kg/ha (132.9 bu/ac), but that has now been lowered to 5,120 kg/ha (81.4 bu/ac), or a reduction of 39%.

Parana - The first corn crop in Parana has also been impacted by the dry conditions which hit the crop during pollination and grain filling. Deral lowered the corn production 510 thousand tons from 4.19 million tons to 3.68 million tons. Earlier last week, the corn was rated 10% poor, 27% average, and 63% good. The percentage of the corn rated good was down 14 points from the prior week. Western Parana has been the region most impacted by the dry weather.

In the driest areas, corn yields are down as much as 85% and some farmers are cutting the corn for forage instead of grain production. The forecast is calling for some rain in the 6-10 period, but rain at this point will not help the first corn crop.

Minas Gerais - The state of Minas Gerais produces about the same amount of first corn crop as Rio Grande do Sul and the corn in the state is generally in good condition. The summer rains started early in the state and most of the corn was planted in October. The state has received frequent rain with sunny breaks and warm temperatures and the crop is now pollinating and filling grain. Most farmers in the state are expecting good corn yields, certainly better than last year.

Safrinha Corn in Mato Grosso - The safrinha corn in Mato Grosso should be planted within the ideal planting window because the soybeans should be harvested early. Wet weather might delay the start of the soybean harvest in the state, but the soybean crop is a month ahead of last year's crop, so there should be plenty of time to plant the safrinha corn. The soil moisture should also be abundant, at least for the start of the safrinha growing season.

Farmers in Mato Grosso who plant safrinha corn and safrinha cotton are worried about delayed deliveries of fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. In some cases, their fertilizer orders were canceled or switched to alternative formulations.

Safrinha Corn in Parana - The potential start to safrinha corn planting in Parana is uncertain. Most of the state that plants safrinha corn is currently in drought, which has negatively impacted the soybeans. If the drought persists, the soybeans will probably be harvested earlier than normal, but it remains unclear if farmers will rush out and plant safrinha corn if there is not enough soil moisture to ensure germination and stand establishment.