Feb 01, 2023

2022/23 Brazil Soybeans 5% Harvested vs. 11% Last Year

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

The weather in Brazil continues to follow a familiar pattern - frequent rains in central Brazil with generally light rains in far southern Brazil. The forecast is calling for the rains to ease up somewhat this week in central Brazil, which would be welcomed news for farmers trying to harvest their soybeans. With dryer weather and more soybeans maturing, the harvest pace in Brazil should now start to accelerate.

The Brazil soybeans were 5% harvested as of late last week compared to 11% last year and 6% average according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 3% for the week. Mato Grosso is most advanced at 13.6% harvested with just a few percent of the soybeans harvested in other states such as Parana and Goias. Wet weather continues to slow the early harvest and the forecast is calling for more rain this week in central Brazil.

Brazil's soybean estimate was left unchanged this week with a neutral bias. Early yields out of northern Mato Grosso are generally good, but there are concerns about the soybean yields in Rio Grande do Sul and Parana. Therefore, the soybean estimate was left unchanged this week while we wait for confirmation concerning the yields in southern Brazil.

Mato Grosso - Farmers in Mato Grosso had harvested 13.6% of their soybeans as of late last week compared to 31.8% last year and 20.2% average. This represents an advance of 7.7% for the week and it is 18% behind last year's pace. The most advanced harvest is in the western part of the state where 21% of the soybeans have been harvested. The slowest harvest is in northeastern Mato Grosso where 3.6% of the soybeans have been harvested.

The forecast is calling for more rain this week and farmers are getting concerned not only about delays in harvesting their soybeans, but also delays in planting the safrinha corn which is only 5.9% planted. There were some localized quality issues with some of the early maturing soybeans, but if the rains become lighter, that should become less of a concern.

In the municipality of Tapurah in central Mato Grosso, farmers started harvesting their soybeans last week. Yields for the soybeans planted in September are in the range of 60 sacks per hectare (53.6 bu/ac). The weather was good during the growing season with no major insect or disease problems. An unknown anomaly last year resulted in losses of 30-40%, but that same anomaly this year is resulting in losses of only 4%.

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 soybean harvest in Parana is just getting underway with probably less than 2% of the crop harvested. The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) lowered their estimate of the soybean production in the state last week to 20.7 million tons compared to 21.4 million last month. They cited hot and dry weather during December as the reason for the reduction. They also indicated that their estimate may be reduced further in subsequent reports.

Deral reported that as of earlier last week the soybeans in Parana were 7% in vegetative development, 18% flowering, 66% filling pods, and 9% maturing. The soybeans were rated 4% poor, 15% average, and 81% good.

In the municipality of Palotina in western Parana, farmers started harvesting their early maturing soybeans last week. Farmers had expected a good crop until December, which turned out to be hotter and dryer than normal. The dry weather hit as the early maturing soybeans as they were filling pods.

According to the president of the Rural Union of Palotina, the early soybean yields are down about 35% from initial expectations with a range of about 60 sacks per hectare (53.6 bu/ac) in areas that received rain to 20 sacks per hectare (18 bu/ac) in areas that missed the rain in December.

Rio Grande do Sul - Soybean planting is 98% complete and 31% of the soybeans have started to flower and 9% are filling pods. Much of the crop is under significant moisture stress especially in the western part of the state.

The Technical Network of 21 cooperatives in the state (RTC/CCGL) estimates that the statewide soybean yield will be down as much as 16% due to the dry conditions. Fecoagro/RS is more pessimistic and they are estimating that soybean losses in the state could be as high as 40%. In the municipality of Tupancireta in north-central Rio Grande do Sul, 30% of the soybeans needed to be replanted due to poor stands and as much as 15% of the soybeans may not get planted at all.

At the start of the growing season, Rio Grande do Sul was expected to produce 22 million tons of soybeans, but that is now probably closer to 17 million tons.

Tocantins - The soybean harvest should start this week in the state of Tocantins. Farmers are expecting the 2022/23 soybean yields to exceed the 53 to 54 sacks per hectare harvested last year (47 to 48 bu/ac). The weather during the growing season has generally been good and the director of Aprosoja/TO expects yields in the better areas to be in the range of 60 sacks per hectare (53.6 bu/ac).