Apr 18, 2023

2022/23 Brazil Safrinha Corn in Good Condition, Frost Worries

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

The conditions for the 2022/23 safrinha corn crop have generally been beneficial. It had been getting a little dry in the southern areas, but recent rainfall has relieved the dryness, at least for the time being.

Potential frost in southern Brazil - Weather forecasters in Brazil are calling for the potential of frost late this week in southern Brazil. Currently, they are only expecting a frost in the higher elevations of southern Brazil, but this is early for any type of frost in southern Brazil. The safrinha corn will probably be OK at least for this week, but any significant frost in the safrinha corn area of Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo before the end of June could negatively impact the crop.

In Conab's April Crop Report, they increased Brazil's total 2022/23 corn production by 0.2 million tons to 124.8 million. The estimate for the first corn crop was increased 0.49 million tons to 27.24 million, while the safrinha corn estimate was lowered 0.28 million tons to 95.32 million. The safrinha corn yield increased slightly (0.2 bu/ac) while the acreage was lowered 90,000 hectares (222,300 acres) to 16.90 million hectares (41.74 million acres).

There have been numerous reports of farmers not being able to plant all their intended safrinha corn due to the delayed soybean harvest. In some cases, farmers could not access crop insurance for the later planted corn so some opted for grain sorghum, sunflowers, sesame, or cover crops.

Rio Grande do Sul - The corn in Rio Grande do Sul was 80% harvested as of late last week compared to 78% last year and 71% average according to Emater. This represents an advance of 1% for the week. The corn harvest was slow last week because farmers are focused on harvesting their soybeans. The average corn yield in the state thus far is 4,471 kg/ha (71 bu/ac), which is down 40% from initial expectations due to the drought.

Parana - The safrinha corn in Parana is 100% planted with the crop rated 1% germinating, 90% in vegetative development, 8% pollinating, and 1% filling grain according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The safrinha corn is rated 3% average and 97% good. The first corn crop in Parana was 77% harvested compared to 70% last year and 92% average.

In the municipality of Marechal Candido Rondon in western Parana, 80% of the safrinha corn was planted within the ideal planting window which closed at the end of February. The remaining 20% of the corn was planted by March 8th. The president of the Rural Union of Marechal Candido Rondon/PR estimates that 10% of the corn is in vegetative development, 60% is pollinating, and 25% is filling grain. There is currently heavy pest pressure and some producers have already applied 6-7 insecticide applications. The peak of the corn harvest should be between the last half of July and the first half of August.

Sao Paulo - Farmers in the state are expected to plant less safrinha corn than expected due to the delayed soybean harvest. Additionally, farmers were reluctant to plant their safrinha corn extra late due to the already heavy infestation of corn leafhoppers.

Mato Grosso do Sul - Farmers in Mato Grosso do Sul still had 5% of the safrinha corn left to plant as of late last week according to the Agriculture and Livestock Federation of Mato Grosso do Sul (Famasul). The late planted safrinha corn is the result of the delayed soybean harvest. The late planted corn is at increased risk of drought and a potential frost before the crop matures. The graph below illustrates the evolution of the safrinha corn planting in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (blue line). As you can see, the planting was slower than last year (red line) and the five-year average (dotted line) from the start of the planting season.


Mato Grosso - Farmers in Mato Grosso have forward contracted 33.7% of their anticipated 2022/23 corn production, which represents an advance of 3.7% compared to the prior month. The average price during March was R$ 54.82 per sack or approximately $4.80 per bushel.

For the 2023/24 safrinha corn crop which will be planted next January and February, farmers have forward contracted 6.8% of their anticipated production, which is up 1.9% from the prior month.

WASDE - In the latest WASDE Report, the USDA left the 2022/23 Brazilian corn estimate unchanged at 125.0 million tons.