Dec 01, 2023

Soybean Harvest Starts in Brazil, Month Earlier than Previous Years

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

The initial 2023/24 soybean harvest has started in Brazil, which is a month earlier than in previous years. In the municipality of Ipiranga do Norte in north-central Mato Grosso, some farmers started to harvest their early maturing soybeans this week. Early yields are reported in the range of 30 to 35 sacks per hectare (26.8 to 31.2 bu/ac).

The soybeans were planted on September 1st, which is two weeks earlier than the traditional starting date of September 16th. The farmers currently harvesting soybeans are cotton producers who as members of the Cotton Producers Association of Mato Grosso (Ampa), petitioned the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture to move up the planting of soybeans to allow more time to plant a second crop of safrinha cotton.

The ideal planting window for safrinha cotton closes about the end of January and during the 2022/23 growing season, a significant percentage of the crop was planted after that date. Emprapa and the Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Mato Grosso (Aprosoja/MT) opposed the early start because the soybeans would be planted while the soybean-free period is still in effect. An additional incentive to plant their cotton early is growing season the fact that during El Nino years, the summer rainy season can end earlier than normal.

Hot and dry weather during October and early November negatively impacted the soybean development and accelerated crop maturity. Erratic rainfall has also led to a wide range of crop conditions with some soybeans rated excellent and others nearby rated very poor. It all depends on the rainfall distribution.

With lower yields expected for their soybeans, cotton producers in the region are pinning their hopes on an improved cotton crop.