Nov 29, 2023

Weather Improving Somewhat for Brazil's 2023/24 Soybeans

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

Limited rainfall has finally returned to important production regions such as Mato Grosso and Goias but heavier amounts and better coverage is needed to permit continued planting and limited yield losses. I would catharize last week's rainfall as underwhelming.

Rainfall this week will be mostly limited to southern and southeastern Brazil which will allow dryness to increase again in northern areas. Heavier and more widespread rainfall is expected in central Brazil during the 6-10 day period which should lead to improved soil moisture if the rains develop.

The Brazilian 2023/24 soybean estimate was left unchanged this week and I maintain a neutral to lower bias. There was limited improvement in the rainfall in central Brazil and the forecast is calling for more rain in the 6-10 day period. In the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, wet weather continues to delay the soybean planting progress. After a problematic start to the growing season, the Brazilian soybean crop needs additional rainfall in central Brazil and dryer weather in southern Brazil.

The soybeans in Brazil were 74.6% planted late last week compared to 88.2% last year and 87.3% average according to Patria AgroNegocios. This represents an advance of 6.6% for the week and it is now the slowest planting pace in 14 years since 2009. The pace has been slow due to dryness in northeastern and northern Brazil and excessive wetness in southern Brazil.

There continues to be a concern about late planted soybeans and the impact on the potential safrinha corn acreage. If soybeans are planted after November 1st in west-central Brazil and the state of Tocantins, it would not allow enough time to plant safrinha corn within the ideal window which closes about February 20th.

Mato Grosso - The soybeans in Mato Grosso were 98.3% planted as of late last week compared to 99.5% last year. The last area to finish planting will be northeastern Mato Grosso where 95.9% of the soybeans have been planted. Rainfall increased in Mato Grosso last week, but the amounts and the coverage are still inadequate. The long-range forecast is calling for heavier amounts of rain and more widespread coverage.

In the municipality of Ipiranga do Norte in north-central Mato Grosso, they received 130 mm of precipitation (5.2 inches) during November, which is about half their normal rainfall. Temperatures were very hot and the soybeans were under moisture and heat stress for most of October and November. The soybeans planted in September were flowering and filling grain under adverse conditions and were impacted the most because they were further along in their development. In the worst-case scenario, farmers who expected 60-70 sacks per hectare (53-62 bu/ac) are now projecting 15-20 sacks per hectare (13-18 bu/ac).

Parana - The soybeans were 93% planted as of last week with 10% of the soybeans germinating, 65% in vegetative development, 20% flowering, and 5% filling pods. The soybeans are rated 2% poor, 11% average, and 87% good.

Rio Grande do Sul - Soybean planting in Rio Grande do Sul was 25% complete as of late last week. Planting progress has been slow due to wet weather slowing the harvest of wheat, barley, oats, and canola, all of which will be followed by soybeans. Farmers are reporting that some fields may need to be replanted due to poor germination and low plant populations. The heavy rains have also caused excessive erosion and the washing away of seed and fertilizer.

Bahia - Soybean planting in northeastern Brazil continues to be slowed by dry conditions. The region received limited rainfall last week with more limited rainfall in the forecast. Rainfall is not expected to return to normal until January.

In the municipality of Correntina in western Bahia, 50-60% of the soybeans have been planted and farmers are waiting for rain before they plant the remainder of their crop. The ideal planting window for soybeans in the municipality is November 10 to November 30. The soybeans that have been planted are developing very slowly due to dry conditions. The earlier planted soybeans should be in the V6 to V8 stage, but instead, they are only V1 to V2.