May 23, 2023

Late Planted Safrinha Corn in Brazil in need of 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. Considering the dryer conditions, the Brazilian corn estimate was left unchanged this week at 125.0 million tons.

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 developing safrinha corn.

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 developed normally up to this point, but there has not been any rain for several days and the corn will require more rain 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 until late June.

Farmers in Guaira forward contracted very little of their anticipated safrinha corn production which is a problem. The recent decline in corn prices means that many farmers may lose money on their safrinha corn production. They were slow sellers of their 2022/23 soybeans and now they may be forced to sell their corn regardless of price due to a lack of storage space. The low corn prices could be a disincentive to invest heavily in their 2023/24 safrinha corn production.

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.

Mato Grosso do Sul - In the municipality of Chapadao do Sul in northern Mato Grosso do Sul, it has been dry for over two weeks and the forecast looks dry as well. About 50% of the safrinha corn was planted within the ideal planting window and it should produce about 100 sacks per hectare (95 bu/ac). The other 50% of the safrinha corn that was planted after the ideal planting window had closed, will need 1 or 2 more rains to insure a good yield. Unfortunately, the needed moisture is not in the immediate forecast.

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. Farmers who did not forward contract much of their anticipated corn production, could lose money on their safrinha corn.