Feb 16, 2023

Troublesome Start for Brazil's 2022/23 Safrinha Corn

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

It has been a troublesome start for Brazilian farmers as they try to plant their second corn crop called the safrinha in a timely manner. As of the end of last week, farmers in Brazil had planted 17% of their safrinha corn compared to 30% last year. The problem has been wet weather which has delayed the soybean planting and subsequently the safrinha corn planting.

The safrinha corn planting is most behind in the southern state of Parana, which is the second largest safrinha corn planting state in Brazil behind Mato Grosso. Farmers in Parana are expected to produce approximately 15% of Brazil's 2022/23 safrinha corn.

As of Monday, farmers in the state had planted 12% of their safrinha corn compared to 28% last year and 23% average. The planting this year is similar to 2018 when the corn was approximately 60% planted at the start of March. In 2018, the weather turned dryer in April and May and the corn yields ended up being down more than 20% below average.

An additional hurdle for late planted corn in Parana is the possibility of frost before the corn is mature. In recent years, there has been a tendency for frost to occur in June, which is approximately a month earlier than normal.

Mato Grosso is Brazil's largest safrinha corn producing state responsible for approximately 46% of the anticipated 2022/23 production. The planting pace in Mato Grosso is also similar to 2018. As of last week, the safrinha corn in Mato Grosso was 34% planted compared to 55% last year and 48% average. In 2018, 30% of the corn had been planted by this time.

The weather in Mato Grosso thus far this growing season has been similar to 2016 when it was wet during the summer growing season but then quickly turned dry in April resulting in corn yields 30% below average because the crop ran out of moisture before reaching maturity.

The ideal planting window for safrinha corn in Mato Grosso generally closes about the third week of February. The biggest hurdle for late planted corn in Mato Grosso is the onset of dry weather in April and a premature end to the summer rainy season.