Feb 24, 2022

Wet Weather Slows Soy Harvest in State of Tocantins in North Brazil

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

Farmers in northern Brazil are in the process of harvesting their 2021/22 soybeans, but persistent wet weather has slowed the harvest especially in the southern and western regions of the state of Tocantins. The soybean harvest in Tocantins is 60% complete with the most advanced harvest in the central and northern regions. In southern and western Tocantins, persistent wet weather has kept the soybean harvest to only 20%.

According to the director of Aprosoja Brazil, heavy rains over the last 7-10 days have only allowed narrow harvest windows which has forced farmers to harvest their soybeans at high moisture and it has also resulted in lower quality soybeans. Farmers have complained that their soybeans are being discounted at the local grain elevators because of low quality and the fact that the soybeans need to be dried.

Since the soybeans need to be dried before storage, the grain elevators have slowed their rate of intake due to a lack of drying capacity. The heavy rains have also made transportation problematic in the region. Some of the rural dirt roads have become impassable and many grain trucks have gotten stuck in the muddy conditions.

The heavy rains and poor-quality seed have also led to lower expectations for the soybean production. At the start of the growing season, it was estimated that the statewide soybean yield would be 10% higher than the 53 sacks per hectare produced last year (47.3 bu/ac), but those estimates may be revised downward before the end of the harvest season.

The wet weather is not only slowing the soybean harvest, it is also slowing the planting of the safrinha corn which is planted after the soybeans are harvested. The ideal planting window for safrinha corn in western Tocantins closed about the third week of February, but since only 20% of the soybeans have been harvested, it is possible that not all the intended safrinha corn acreage will be planted.

The cost of planting corn increased significantly this year due to high input costs and farmers may not want to risk planting expensive corn into saturated conditions, especially if the corn would be planted later than recommended.