Oct 24, 2023

Brazil Soybeans 30% Planted vs. 37% Last Year, Rainfall Needed

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

Soybean planting in Brazil was 30% as of late last week compared to 37.6% last year and 30% average according to Patria AgroNegocios. This represents an advance of 13% for the week.

Planting in Mato Grosso jumped ahead by 25% to 60% while Parana advanced 7% to 51% complete. The areas lagging the most are east-central and northeastern Brazil. There are reports out of central Brazil that some of the early planted soybeans will need to be replanted due to poor germination and spotty stands.

If the rainfall pattern in central Brazil does not improve quickly, I could start lowering the Brazilian soybean production estimate as soon as next week. There are analysts in Brazil that are forecasting that Brazil's 2023/24 soybean production will be below 160 million tons. Conab is currently estimating 162.0 million tons and the USDA is at 163.0 million tons.

For the last several weeks, the weather pattern in Brazil has been consistent with spotty rains in central Brazil with even less rainfall in north and northeastern Brazil, while southern Brazil continues to receive heavy rainfall. A lot of areas in southern Brazil have already received record amounts of rainfall for the month of October.

Temperatures in central Brazil last week were "blazing hot" reaching 40-43°C (104-110°F). The sun is directly overhead this time of year and the combination of strong sunlight, high temperatures and low relative humidity resulted in very high rates of evaporation. Farmers in the dryer areas of Mato Grosso for example, are reporting poor early growth of soybeans and the need for some fields to be replanted. I would estimate that at least 30% of the soybean acreage in Brazil is in immediate need of rainfall.

Mato Grosso - The soybeans in Mato Grosso were 60% planted as of late last week compared to 66.9% last year and 50.6% average. This represents an advance of 24.9% for the week, which is about as good as can be expected. The most advanced planting is in the mid-north region where 80% of the soybeans have been planted. The slowest is the northeast region where 40% of the soybeans have been planted.

The temperatures last week were extremely hot with some areas hitting more than 44°C (111°F). Some farmers are reporting that they will need to replant some of their soybeans due to the hot and dry conditions and that the early development of the soybeans is being delayed.

A delay in soybean planting means a delay in planting the safrinha corn and farmers were already concerned about the low domestic corn price and lack of margins. Below is the soybean planting progress (red line) from the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea).


Parana -The soybeans in Parana were 51% planted as of last week compared to 54% last year and 47% average. The planting is still ahead of average, but not as much as several weeks ago. Wet weather in the southern part of the state and dryness in the northern part have slowed the planting progress. Some soybeans in southern Parana need to be replanted due to saturated conditions.

Mato Grosso do Sul - Soybeans in Mato Grosso do Sul were 21.5% planted as of late last week compared to 37% average. In the municipality of Amambai in southwestern Mato Grosso do Sul, the soybean planting is 30-40% complete. Planting has been slowed due to dry conditions and a few fields may need to be replanted. In a year with normal rainfall, soybean planting at this point would be 80-90% complete according to the president of the Rural Union of Amambai/MS.

The soybean planting has already been delayed 20-25 days and the delays are mounting. Rainfall will be needed in short order to avoid yield declines. The more the soybean planting is delayed, the greater delays in planting the safrinha corn and farmers are already expressing caution concerning their plans for safrinha corn.

Goias - Soybeans in Goias were 23.1% planted as of late last week compared to 20% average. In the municipality of Rio Verde in southwestern Goias, the rainfall thus far has been very erratic with some areas receiving 40 to 80 mm (approximately 2-3 inches), while other areas have only received 5-8 mm (approximately 0.2 to 0.3 inches). As a result, soybean planting has been very erratic as well with the percentage planted ranging from 2% to 60%. Soybean yields tend to decline if the crop is planted after November 10th.

Minas Gerais - Soybean planting in Minas Gerais was 8.5% as of late last week compared to 14.4% average. In the municipality of Uberlandia in southwestern Minas Gerais, hot and dry conditions have slowed soybeans planting. According to the president of the Rural Union of Uberlandia/MG, farmers probably will not be able to resume planting until early November when the precipitation is expected to improve. If soybean planting is delayed until early November, the soybean yield potential will start to decline. He expected a decline in the safrinha corn acreage due to the delayed soybean planting.

Bahia - Soybean planting in Bahia was 0.8% last week compared to 4.5% average.

Maranhao - Soybean planting in Maranhao was less than 1% as of late last week compared to 1% average. In the municipality of Balsas in southern Maranhao, approximately 5% of the soybeans were planted as of late last week when 40-50% of the soybeans would normally be planted by this date. Soybean planting has been delayed at least 10 days and mounting.

In other areas of the state, the soybeans are 0% planted compared to 30% last year and farmers say they need 30-40 mm or rainfall (1.2 to 1.6 inches) before they will start planting. Unfortunately, there is very little rainfall in the forecast for the next two weeks. If planting is delayed past the first week of November, the soybean yield potential will start to decline.

What is happening in Maranhao is similar to the situation in the states of Bahia, Tocantins, Piaui, northern Goias, northern Minas Gerais, and eastern Mato Grosso.

Rio Grande do Sul - Soybean planting in Rio Grande do Sul was less than 1% compared to 4.5% average. This state is always one of the last areas to plant soybeans in Brazil, but wet weather is delaying planting even more than usual this year. The recommended dates for planting soybeans in the state is from October 1st to January 28th.

Rainfall in the state is expected to be above normal for the entire growing season due to El Nino, so farmers are not pressing to plant their soybeans. If the soybeans are planted by the end of November, the yield potential should be normal.