Oct 26, 2023

This Could be a Decisive Period for Soybeans in Cener-West Brazil

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

It is still early in the growing season, but this next week could be a decisive period for soybeans in the center-west region of Brazil. The region has been experiencing irregular rainfall accompanied by extreme temperatures as high as 110°F. The forecast for later this week and next week is calling for rain and farmers are praying that the forecast verifies.

If the forecasted rain does not materialize or if the amounts and coverage are disappointing, there will be a lot of soybeans that will need to be replanted. Soybeans that emerged several weeks ago have been baking in the sun and farmers are already worried that some of the fields will have to be replanted.

Soybean planting in Mato Grosso last week reached 60% which represented an advance of 25% for the week. Many of those soybeans last week were "planted in the dust", which is a risky proposition in central Brazil. The worst scenario for those soybeans would be if the rainfall was just enough to encourage germination and then the weather turns dry again for several more weeks.

Under those conditions, the soybeans would emerge and then die due to a lack of moisture causing farmers to spend more money on seed and fuel replanting the crop. To get the soybeans germinated and a stand established, the rainfall needs to be in the range of 1-2 inches. If the rains disappoint, there may be hundreds of thousands of hectares that would need to be replanted.

The situation is similar in northern Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias. The conditions are even more worrisome in the northeastern states of Bahia, Tocantins, Maranhao, Piaui, and Para.

If soybeans need to be replanted in central Brazil, the yields could still be acceptable if the weather cooperated for the remainder of the growing season. A larger problem would be for the safrinha corn.

If soybeans are not planted until sometime in November, it would be highly risky to try and plant a second crop of corn following the soybeans. The corn would probably run out of moisture before it has a chance to mature. There is an additional risk this growing season because El Nino can result in an early end to the summer rainy season. An early end to the rainy season would be a disaster for any late planted safrinha corn.

Up until late last week, farmers in Brazil had planted 30.2% of their soybeans compared to 34.4% last year and 27.1% average, according to AgRural.