Nov 03, 2023

Soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul 3% Planted vs. 18% Average

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

Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul is usually the third largest soybean producing state in Brazil and one of the regions that is the last to plant soybeans. Planting of the 2023/24 soybeans in the state is progressing slower than normal this year due to excessive rainfall.

Farmers in the state have planted 3% of the projected 6.74 million hectares of soybeans (16.6 million acres) according to Emater. The planting pace is about equal to last year when the state experienced a severe drought and approximately 15% behind average. Planting is slowest in the northern and western parts of the state and unfortunately, there is more rainfall in the forecast.

Most of the soybeans in the state is planted after the winter wheat is harvested, but the wet conditions are slowing the wheat harvest. Emater estimates that 58% of the wheat has been harvested and that 40% of the wheat is maturing and 2% is filling grain. Wheat yields are disappointing and the quality of the wheat has been negatively impacted by the wet weather.

Persistent wet and cloudy weather during September and October interfered with the wheat development and led to increased pressure from diseases such as wheat blast and gibberella. The poorest quality wheat is being rejected by millers and will only be used for animal rations. Some farmers even harvested the wheat for silage instead of for grain. Wheat yields are reported in the range of 900 to 2,500 kg/ha (approximately 14 to 39 bu/ac). Millers are paying premiums for high-quality wheat, but unfortunately, there is little high-quality wheat available.

Farmers in the state have planted 78% of their full season corn with 87% of the corn germinating and in vegetative development and 13% pollinating. Several days of sunshine last week accelerated the growth of the corn as the crop has now taken on a deep green color.

Farmers are concerned that the heavy rains have caused extensive erosion and the removal of applied nutrients.