Apr 27, 2022

Widespread Dryness Impacting 2021/22 Safrinha Corn in Brazil

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

I remain cautious about the safrinha corn production because of continued concerns about the early onset of the dry season in central Brazil, the potential for an early frost in southern Brazil, and weekend damage to the corn in western Parana and southern Mato Grosso do Sul.

The condition of the safrinha corn in far northern and far southern Brazil is good, but dry weather concerns continue to mount for the safrinha corn in central Brazil including the states of Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and northern Mato Grosso do Sul.

For the last week of April, the Brazilian National Weather Service (Inmet) is forecasting additional rainfall in far southern Brazil and far northern Brazil with central Brazil remaining dry. Temperatures during the period are expected to increase in central Brazil.

Mato Grosso - It has been 25-30 days without rain in many parts of central and southern Mato Grosso and there is little rainfall in the forecast for this week. The municipality of Sapezal in west-central Mato Grosso has been dry for 50 days. The forecast is calling for maybe some light scattered showers next week, but in fact, the Brazilian National Weather Service (Inmet) has indicated that the summer rainy season in central Brazil has ended and that the annual dry season is now in place.

The vice president of the Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Mato Grosso (Aprosoja-MT) feels that safrinha corn is already losing some of its yield potential and that losses will increase if the crop does not receive two more significant rains between now and the end of May. Some areas of far northern Mato Grosso are doing fine, so it is hard to quantify the potential losses. Safrinha corn yields in northern Mato Grosso will be good, but there will be yield losses in southern Mato Grosso where the corn was planted later and the weather has been dryer.

In the municipality of Claudia in far northern Mato Grosso for example, farmers are expecting safrinha corn yields in the range of 100 to 130 sacks per hectare (95.4 to 124.0 bu/ac) with the best corn approaching 150 sacks per hectare (143.0 bu/ac). The majority of the safrinha corn was planted within the ideal planting window and the weather this growing season has been very beneficial. The corn harvest in the municipality is expected to begin within two months.

Farmer sales in Mato Grosso - The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported last week that farmers in the state had forward contracted 54.5% of their anticipated 2021/22 corn production for an average price of R$ 74.15 per sack (approximately $7.15 per bushel). Farmers had sold 99.8% of their 2020/21 corn production for an average price of R$ 77.82 per sack (approximately $7.52 per bushel).

Parana - The safrinha corn in Parana was in good condition until severe thunderstorms rolled across western Parana and southern Mato Grosso do Sul over the weekend resulting in severe hail damage, electrical outages, and damaged structures. In areas of the severe hail, damage to the safrinha corn is 100%. Local farmers have indicated that this is the worst damage they have ever seen.

The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) is assessing the damage and it is going to be significant, my guess is at least 1.0 million tons were lost. The damage is very reminiscent of the "derecho" that hit eastern Iowa several years ago.

Prior to the severe storms, the crop was rated 3% average and 97% good and the corn was 47% in vegetative development, 37% pollinating, 15% filling grain, and 1% mature.

In the municipality of Sao Joao in southern Parana, farmers are expecting safrinha corn yields in the range of 100 to 120 sacks per hectare (95.4 to 114.4 bu/ac) which is very good and in sharp contrast to their 2021/22 soybeans which registered losses of 50% and poor seed quality.

Mato Grosso do Sul - Farmers in the state have finished planting 1.99 million hectares of safrinha corn according to the Agriculture and Livestock Confederation of Mato Grosso do Sul (Famasul). This represents a reduction of 12.6% compared to the previous year.

The safrinha corn in southern Mato Grosso do Sul suffered damage from the weekend storms, how much is yet to be determined. Prior to the storms, Famasul estimated the safrinha corn yield at 78.1 sacks per hectare (4.5 bu/ac) with a production of 9.3 million tons. The condition of the corn was rated 10% poor, 11% average, and 78% good. Farmers in the state have forward contracted 13% of their anticipated production compared to 30% last year at this time.