Jul 21, 2022

Corn Yields in Mato Grosso Declining as Harvest Progresses

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

Farmers in Mato Grosso are reporting lower corn yields as the harvest nears completion.

The declining yields led the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) to lower the 2021/22 corn estimate for Mato Grosso to 39.1 million tons, which is down 3.4% from their last estimate. Dry weather during April and May when the corn was in its reproductive phase is the reason for the lower yields. Imea reported last Friday that 85% of the safrinha corn in Mato Grosso had been harvested.

In the municipality of Campos de Julio in western Mato Grosso, the corn harvest is 85% complete and corn yields have declined as the harvest has progressed. The earliest planted corn had good growing condition, but the later planted corn encountered dry weather starting in March and lasting for much of its life cycle.

At the start of the harvest, corn yields in the municipality were in the range of 150 to 180 sacks per hectare (143 to 171 bu/ac), but they declined to about 120 sacks per hectare (114 bu/ac) in the middle of the harvest and now some yields are as low as 40 sacks per hectare (38 bu/ac). The corn yield in the municipality is expected to be down 30% from average.

As a result of the lower production, Imea has also trimmed its estimate for corn usage in the state. Domestic corn usage in the state is estimated at 11.9 million tons, which is down 0.1% from last month due to increase use of DDG's in animal rations. The export of corn to other Brazilian states is estimated at 3.3 million tons, down 2% from last month. Corn exports out of Mato Grosso to other countries is estimated at 23.8 million tons, down 5% from the last estimate.

Recent corn prices in Mato Grosso have been in the range of R$ 66 to R$ 67 per sack (approximately $5.75 to $5.85 per bushel), which is down from R$ 73 per sack at the start of the harvest (approximately $6.40 per bushel). Farmers in the state are reluctant sellers of their corn in the hope for improved prices.