Jan 04, 2022

2021/22 Brazil Soybean Estimate Continues to Decline

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

The extreme weather continues in Brazil with some areas of southern Brazil staying dry for over 60 days and some areas of northern Brazil not seeing any sunshine for over 60 days. Southern Brazil did receive some lighter showers last week and over the weekend and the forecast is calling for a few scattered showers later this week. The rains were not enough to relieve the moisture stress on the soybeans in southern Brazil.

We know that the drought-stricken soybeans in southern Brazil are going to experience yield losses. What is less clear is what is the impact of constant overcast skies, a lack of sunshine, and heavy rains on soybean yields. As I mentioned in my report last week, a rough guess is that 35-40% of the soybeans are in the dryer areas and 50-60% of the soybeans are in the wetter areas.

Mato Grosso - A few early fields of soybeans in Mato Grosso were harvested last week with most of the harvest activity concentrated in the northwestern municipalities of Sapezal, Campo Novo do Parecis, and Brasnorte. This represents an advance of about 20 days compared to last year when less than 1% of the soybeans in the state had been harvested by mid-January. In the better areas of northwestern Mato Grosso, early yields are expected to be in the range of 58 to 65 sacks per hectare (52 to 58 bu/ac) with maybe some as high as 75 sacks per hectare (67 bu/ac).

In the central Mato Grosso municipalities of Sorriso, Nova Mutum, and Lucas do Rio Verde, the rainfall has been heavier and more prolonged and there are reports of moldy seeds and seeds sprouting in the pods. There are also reports of lodged soybeans, which is expected given the amount of rainfall in the region. If the pods are close to wet soil, there is an increased chance of rotted seed and poor seed quality. It is also harder to effectively apply needed fungicides.

The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is expecting a record soybean production in the state of 38.14 million tons, which would be an increase of 5.8% compared to last year. Currently, Mato Grosso is expected to account for approximately 27% of Brazil's total soybean production and that may even go higher depending on the severity of the yield reductions in drought stricken southern Brazil.

Parana - The situation in western Parana has deteriorated over the past week. There were a few light and scattered showers and hotter temperatures. The soybeans in western Parana are in the critical pod filling stage and there are numerous reports short stature soybeans, pod abortion, and premature plant death. In the worst-case scenario, a few fields have been harvested with yields less than 10 bu/ac. In the worst areas of western Parana, some farmers have even cut their soybeans for forage because their yield potential was essentially zero.

The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) has not released a crop rating since before Christmas. Their next report should be released early this week and it is expected to show further deterioration of the soybean crop with probably less than 50% of the crop rated in good condition.

Rio Grande do Sul - In Rio Grande do Sul the soil moisture is critically short and some farmers have not finished planting their soybeans due to the lack of soil moisture. Emater reported that 93% of the soybeans had been planted as of late last week and that 90% of the soybeans are in vegetative development and that 10% has started flowering.

The one good thing in the state (if you can say it is good) is the fact that most of the soybeans are not yet in the critical pod filling phase.

Goias - The weather in Goias has also been wet, but not as wet as areas further north. The conditions in Goias continue to be good and soybean yields should be at least trend line if not better.

Mato Grosso do Sul - The conditions in Mato Grosso do Sul are variable. The weather in the northern half of the state has been good while the southern half of the state has been dry, but probably not quite as dry as in neighboring Parana.

Bahia - As I mentioned earlier, farmers in the state are concerned that the lack of sunshine in the state for the last month and a half may be trimming their soybean yields. They are worried about increase insect and disease pressures, but they have not been able to apply needed controls. At this point, it is difficult to quantify losses if any, but certainly dryer weather would be appreciated. The situation is similar in the states of Maranhao, Piaui, and Tocantins.

The 2021/22 Brazil soybean estimate was lowered 2.0 million tons this week to 138.0 million.