Jan 18, 2023

Brazil Soybeans 0.6% Harvested, Wet Weather Slows Early Harvest

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

The weather in Brazil is following a familiar pattern - wet in central Brazil and dryer in southern Brazil. Over the weekend, the rainfall has eased up somewhat in central Brazil and there has been a little more rain in far southern Brazil, but it is still far short of what is needed to recharge the soil moisture. The forecast for this week is for more rains throughout Brazil.

The Brazilian soybeans were 0.6% harvested late last week compared to 1.2% last year and 1.2% average according to AgRural. The early soybean harvest continues to be slowed by wet weather in central Brazil where farmers are worried that the quality of their early maturing soybeans may be negatively impacted if the wet weather continues. Ironically, farmers in Rio Grande do Sul are still trying to finish planting their soybeans which has been delayed due to hot and dry conditions.

Brazil's soybean estimate was left unchanged again this week at 151.0 million tons. Nearly every soybean estimate in Brazil has been moving lower in recent weeks except for the USDA. Many estimates are around 150-153 million tons, but some analysts think it could go below 150.0 due to dryness in southern Brazil and too much rain in central Brazil. I still have a neutral bias, but that may change to a neutral-to-lower bias if Rio Grande do Sul stays dry.

Mato Grosso - The first few fields of soybeans were harvested in Mato Grosso around Christmas, but since then, the harvest progress has been slow. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) estimates that 2.3% of the soybeans were harvested as of late last week compared to 4.1% last year and 3.5% average. The most advanced harvest pace is in western Mato Grosso where 3.5% of the soybeans have been harvested. The slowest harvest is in the northeastern part of the state where 0.1% have been harvested. That is also where there are reports of soybeans sprouting in the pods (see pictures below).

Municipality of Querencia, Mato Grosso - In the municipality of Querencia in northeastern Mato Grosso, wet weather is slowing the initial soybean harvest. The only fields harvested thus far are irrigated soybeans that were planted as early as possible after the "soybean free" period ended on September 16th.

Rainfall during December in Querencia was 500 mm (20 inches). The wet conditions kept farmers out of the field preventing them from applying fungicides or insecticides. The wet weather also promoting some soybean seed to sprout in the pods. That is very early for sprouting because the soybeans are just starting to turn yellow and the situation could get worse if the wet weather persists. If the wet weather persists, the seed quality will continue to deteriorate.

Farmers in Querencia had been hoping for 70 sacks per hectare (62.5 bu/ac), but that will probably not happen due to lower yields and poor-quality seed. If the soybean harvest continues to be delayed due to wet conditions, it could also have an impact on the safrinha corn planting.

The graph below from the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) shows the 2022/23 soybean harvest in Mato Grosso (red line).


Parana - The soybeans in Parana were 15% in vegetative development, 32% flowering, 51% filling pods, and 2% mature as of earlier last week according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The soybeans were rated 4% poor, 16% average, and 80% good. Soybean harvesting has started on a limited basis in parts of Parana.

Rio Grande do Sul - The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul were 96% planted as of late last week compared to 95% last year and 100% average according to Emater. This is the same percentage planted as the prior week. The soybeans are 80% in vegetative development and 19% flowering. The soybeans that are flowering need moisture as soon as possible to avoid excessive flower abortion.

In areas where the moisture deficit is the greatest, the soybeans are short in stature, the lower leaves are yellowing, and some plants have died, especially on the lighter soils. In areas where the rainfall has been better, the soybean development is close to normal.

Emater indicated that yield losses are occurring in selected locations of the state, but many the soybeans could recuperate if the weather would improve going forward. Conversely, if the rainfall does not improve, losses could accelerate.