Jun 24, 2022

2021/22 Brazilian Safrinha Corn Yields are Variable

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

Parana - The 2021/22 safrinha corn crop in Parana was 2% pollinating, 54% filling grain, 44% mature, and 3% harvested earlier this week according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The corn was rated 5% poor, 20% average, and 75% good.

The regions with the highest percentage of the crop rated poor were Francisco Beltrao in southern Parana (20%), Cascavel in western Parana (11%), Toledo in western Parana (10%), and Pato Branco in southern Parana (10%).

Technicians are reporting the early corn yields in southern and western Parana are below expectations and could be down as much as 10% due to stunting caused by corn leafhoppers. This is a relatively new pest in the state and farmers and researchers are still searching for the best way to control the insect. The insect passes along a virus that results in stunting of the corn plant and reduced yields.

Mato Grosso - In the municipality of Tapurah in central Mato Grosso, the safrinha corn harvest is 50-60% complete and yields are variable. The weather in the region turned dry starting the second half of March, and the dry weather had a greater impact on the later planted corn. The earlier planted corn which has already been harvested, had yields in the range of 70 to 150 sacks per hectare (66.7 to 143 bu/ac) and the later planted corn is expected to have lower yields.

In addition to dry weather, the corn in the municipality was also impacted by a heavy infestation of corn leafhoppers. Some farmers applied up to 10 applications of insecticides trying to control the pest, but it is estimated that the insect caused yield losses of approximately 10 sacks per hectare (9.5 bu/ac).

Mato Grosso do Sul - In the municipality of Laguna Carapa in southern Mato Grosso do Sul, the weather has generally been good for the safrinha corn and farmers are optimistic concerning their potential yields. Technicians in the region are expecting an average corn yield of 95 sacks per hectare (90.6 bu/ac) with some of the better fields yielding 110 to 120 sacks per hectare (105 to 114 bu/ac).

The presence of corn leafhoppers is becoming a bigger concern for farmers in the region. Multiple insecticide applications were required to control the pest in 2022 and problems with the pest are expected to get worse in 2023.

Goias - Farmers in Goias have harvested 10% of the safrinha corn and they are reporting lower than anticipated corn yields due to dry weather. The corn that is currently being harvested was planted during the ideal planting window, but a lack of rainfall starting during the second half of March has had a negative impact on the corn yields.

The president of Aprosoja/GO is expecting the 2021/22 corn production in the state to be 8 million tons, which is down 20% from initial expectations.