May 22, 2023

Brazil's 2022/23 Safrinha Corn Needs Additional Moisture

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

Dryer weather has encompassed most if not all the safrinha corn area of central and south-central Brazil. There is little rainfall in the forecast for central Brazil with a slight chance of rain this week in south-central Brazil. Some of the safrinha corn areas have been dry for about four weeks and there is little rainfall in the forecast. Temperatures are forecasted to warm up and the Brazilian National Weather Service (Inmet) is warning that the relative humidity may drop as low as 20%.

Mato Grosso - The early safrinha corn harvest started last week for corn that was planted after irrigated soybeans were harvested in Sorriso in central Mato Grosso. Irrigated soybeans are generally planted the first day allowed, so they are the first harvested as well. The early planted corn had beneficial weather during most of its development, so yields should be good, in the range of 120 to 130 sacks per hectare (114 to 124 bu/ac). The recent dryer weather could trim the yields of the later planted safrinha corn in the state.

Parana - The safrinha corn in Parana was 33% in vegetative development, 36% pollinating, 30% filling grain, and 1% mature as of earlier last week according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The corn was rated 8% average and 92% good.

In the municipality of Guaira in northwestern Parana, the safrinha corn is either pollinating, in the milk stage, or filling grain. The crop has developed normally up to this point, but there has not been any rain for several days and the corn will require additional moisture for it to reach its yield potential. Even though there is not a frost in the forecast, the crop could be negatively impacted by frost if it occurred before late June.

In the municipality of Itambaraca in northern Parana, it has been four weeks since the last significant rain and the safrinha corn is starting to exhibit moisture stress. The late planted corn would be impacted the most if the dry weather continues.

Farmers in Parana have expressed concern about the declining corn prices, which are now below the cost of production, and the possibility they may lose money on their safrinha corn. They may opt to plant less safrinha corn in 2023/24 and more grain sorghum or millet, which are cheaper to grow.

Goias - In the municipality of Rio Verde in southwest Goias, about half the corn is setting ears and the other half is filling grain. According to the president of the Rural Union of Rio Verde, corn yields should be in the normal range of 95 to 100 sacks per hectare (90 to 95 bu/ac). Some of the corn was planted later than desired, but they received good rainfall during March and April. The weather has been dry since early May and additional rainfall will be necessary for the corn to reach its full yield potential.