Feb 01, 2022

Brazil's 2021/22 Soybeans 10% Harvested, Yields Disappoint

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

Rainfall over the weekend favored northern and southeastern Brazil especially southern Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo. The state of Sao Paulo recorded several dozen deaths from localized flooding and landslides. There were some showers over the weekend in Parana and Santa Catarina, but Rio Grande do Sul stayed mostly dry. The rainfall this week will be mostly in central and southeastern Brazil with more widespread rains in the 6-10 day forecast.

The weather in southern Brazil is improving, but 2-3 weeks of temperatures well over 100°F have taken a very heavy toll on the soybeans in western Parana, southern Mato Grosso do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. The record high or near record high temperatures coupled with intense sunlight resulted in extreme moisture deficits from which the soybeans could not recover. As more field surveys are conducted in southern Brazil, the production estimates keep getting lower and lower.

There was some hope that the soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul could recoup some of the losses if the weather improved, but those hopes largely faded under the extreme temperatures. The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are not as advanced in their development as in Parana, but you could argue that the weather in Rio Grande do Sul has been worse than in Parana. Two to three weeks of record or near record high temperatures have resulted in stunted soybeans, low plant populations, and in some cases dead plants, especially in the sandier soils.

The Brazilian soybeans were 10% harvested late last week compared to 2% last year according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 5% for the week. The harvest pace is picking up across Brazil as more soybeans reach harvest maturity.

Mato Grosso - Farmers in Mato Grosso have harvested 31.8% of their 2021/22 soybeans compared to 4.7% last year and 20.9% average. This represents an advance of 18.5% for the week. The most advanced harvest is in the mid-north where 42% of the soybeans have been harvested. The slowest harvest is in the northeast where 21% of the soybeans have been harvested.

Soybean yields in Mato Grosso are satisfactory with some yields lower than last year and some yields higher than last year. The first yields are from the earlier maturing soybeans that appeared to have been more impacted by cloudy conditions, lack of sunshine, and increased disease and pest pressures. The later maturing soybeans are thought to have a higher yield potential.

Parana - Last week, the Department of Rural Economics for the state of Parana (Deral) lowered their estimate of the 2021/22 soybean crop to 12.8 million tons compared to 13.1 million last month. This is 39% lower than their initial estimate of 21 million at the start of the growing season and 35% lower than last year's production of 19.8 million tons.

As of earlier last week, Deral rated the soybeans as 31% poor, 33% average, and 36% good. The soybeans are 3% in vegetative development, 12% flowering, 60% filling pods, 25% mature, and 8% harvested. Safras & Mercado reported that the soybean harvest in the state was 13% as of last Friday compared to 0.5% last year and 4.8% average.

Rio Grande do Sul - The crops in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul continued to be impacted by extremely hot and dry conditions for most of last week. After weeks of dry weather and historically high temperatures, irreversible damage has been done to the soybean crop in Rio Grande do Sul according to Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives (FecoAgro/RS) and the Cooperative Technical Network (RTC). The RTC represents 23 cooperatives in the state that account for more than 50% of the soybean acreage in the state.

RTC conducted a survey of the member cooperatives and as of January 22nd, they estimated that the soybean losses in the state would be 48.7%, which is double their estimated losses on January 4th, which was 24%. RTC estimated that the average soybean yield in the state will be 31 sacks per hectare (27.7 bu/ac) compared to their initial yield estimate of 60.2 sacks per hectare (53.8 bu/ac).

Mato Grosso do Sul - In the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the Agriculture and Livestock Federation of Mato Grosso do Sul (Famasul) now expects the state's 2021/22 soybean production to be 11.4 million tons, which is down 13.8% compared to last year even though the soybean acreage increased 7% to 3.7 million hectares (9.1 million acres).

The average soybean yield in Mato Grosso do Sul was reduced to 50.6 sacks per hectare (45.2 bu/ac), which is down 19.4% from last year. Famasul rated the soybeans at 31% poor, 36% average, and 36% good. Southeastern Mato Grosso do Sul has been the region of the state most impacted by the dry conditions and the soybeans in that region are rated 95% poor and 5% average.

Safras & Mercado reported that the soybeans in Mato Grosso do Sul were 7% harvested as of last Friday compared to 0% last year and 3.4% average.

It is not all bad news in Mato Grosso do Sul, some areas of the state have fared much better. In the municipality of Sao Gabriel do Oeste in central Mato Grosso do Sul, the weather has been very beneficial for the soybeans. They had adequate moisture and some sunny breaks and farmers are expecting one of the best soybean crops in years. Yields for the 100-105 day maturity soybeans are expected to be in the range of 70 sacks per hectare (62.5 bu/ac) and yields for the 110-120 day maturity soybeans could be in the range of 75-80 sacks per hectare (67 to 71.5 bu/ac).