Oct 31, 2023

2023/24 Brazil Soybeans 38% Planted vs. 45% Average

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

While the weather in Brazil has improved somewhat over the last couple of weeks, the situation is still a tale of two extremes. East-central and northeastern Brazil continues to be hot and dry with widely scattered showers, while southern Brazil continues to be inundated with heavy rain. The rainfall has improved in central Brazil, but it is still erratic with some areas receiving enough to plant, while others not receiving any rain at all. The situation gets worse the further east and north you go.

There is also a risk with delayed soybean planting in southern Brazil due to wet conditions, especially in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and southern Parana, so this area needed to be monitored as well.

The Brazilian soybean estimate was lowered this week because any soybeans planted, or replanted, from this point forward run an increased risk of lower yields especially if the weather remains erratic in east-central and northeastern Brazil.

El Nino has not yet peaked and some areas of Brazil have experienced 15-20-day periods of dry weather. Metrologists in Brazil are forecasting more periods of dry weather going forward when the soybeans may be in their sensitive reproductive stage. The longer the soybean planting is delayed, the greater the risk. I know it is very early in the growing season to be overly pessimistic, but the near-term situation is worrisome and the longer-range forecast is uncertain.

Soybeans in Brazil were 38.4% planted as of late last week compared to 52.3% last year and 44.9% average according to Patria AgroNegocios. This represents an advance of 8.4% for the week and the planting pace is now 14% behind last year and 6% behind average. AgRural estimated the soybean planting at 40% as of late last week.

Mato Grosso - Farmers in Mato Grosso had planted 70.5% of their soybeans as of late last week compared to 83.4% last year and 71.6% average. This represents an advance of 10% for the week and this is the first time since planting started that the pace is slower than average. The most advanced planting is the mid-north region where 89% of the soybeans have been planted. Planting is slowest in the northeast region where 49% of the soybeans have been planted.

The rainfall has been erratic in the state with many producers indicating that their soybeans are being planted 15-20 days later than last year. Some farmers have finished planting and others are still waiting for rain to start planting. Farmers are also indicating that some of the earlier planted soybeans will need to be replanted. The most delayed planting seems to be in eastern Mato Grosso. In the areas where the soybean planting is delayed, it will be difficult to plant safrinha corn and many farmers indicate they will plant an alternative crop or a cover crop.

Below is the 2023/24 soybean planting progress in Mato Grosso (red line) from the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea).


Parana - During the first few weeks of the 2023/24 growing season, farmers in the state had planted their soybeans at the fastest pace in five years, but the rapid planting pace has slowed especially in the southern part of the state due to frequent rains resulting from El Nino. The soybeans in Parana were 62% planted as of late last week compared to 63% average.

Rio Grande do Sul - Farmers in a few areas of the state started to plant their soybeans last week, but the state in general is less than 1% planted. The planting pace should pick up this week if it doesn't get too wet. Unfortunately, there is a lot of rain in the forecast, especially for the northern part of the state.

Goias - Soybeans in Goias were 35% planted last week compared to 40% average. Farmers are concerned that the safrinha corn planting will be delayed, especially in areas where the soybeans may need to be replanted.

Mato Grosso do Sul - Soybeans in the state were 35% planted last week compared to 57% average. In the municipality of Sidrolandia in central Mato Grosso do Sul, farmers have planted approximately 50% of their soybeans compared to an average of 80% according to the president of the Rural Union of Sidrolandia/MS. Soybean planting has been delayed about 15 days or more and it is going to push back planting of the safrinha corn. The president thinks farmers will not be able to plant all the safrinha corn and the corn they do plant will receive reduced investments.

Santa Catarina - Soybeans in the state were 14% planted last week compared to 33% average. The state has been extremely wet with more heavy rain over the weekend and more in the forecast.

Northeastern Brazil - Soybean planting in northeastern Brazil has been slowed by hot and dry conditions. The soybeans in Bahia were 2% planted as of last week (14% average), Tocantins was 5% (16% average), and Maranhao was 1% (5% average). The president of Aprosoja in the state of Piaui is advising farmers not to "plant in the dust" because there is very little rain in the forecast and those soybeans may eventually need to be replanted.