Feb 07, 2024

2023/24 Brazil Soybeans 16% Harvested vs. 10% Average

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

The weather in Brazil last week was somewhat of a mixed bag. The heavier rainfall amounts fell in northern and northeastern Brazil with only light amounts in southern Brazil. The near-term forecast is calling for more of the same with heavier amounts in northern Brazil and lighter amounts in southern Brazil. Dryness remains across Mato Grosso do Sul, western Sao Paulo, and northern Parana.

Hotter and dryer conditions in southern Brazil could impact later planted soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and parts of Parana. Over the weekend, isolated showers were recorded in Rio Grande do Sul for the first time in three weeks.

Temperatures are expected to increase with readings more than 40°C (104°F) in parts of central Brazil with the relative humidity below 30%. Longer range, the Brazilian National Weather Service (Inmet) is forecasting above normal temperatures in west-central, northern, and northeastern Brazil during the month of February.

The soybeans in Brazil were 16% harvested as of late last week compared to 9% last year and 10% average according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 5% for the week. Soybean yields thus far in Brazil continue to be disappointing because farmers are still harvesting the early maturing soybeans that were impacted by the hot and dry conditions during October and November. The yield of the later developing soybeans are expected to be higher, but we will not know that for sure until they begin to be harvested.

Mato Grosso - The soybeans in Mato Grosso were 39.2% harvested as of late last week compared to 24% last year and 29.1% average. This represents an advance of 17.6% for the week. The harvest pace is most advanced in western Mato Grosso where 63% of the soybeans have been harvested. Hot and dry weather prevailed in parts of Mato Grosso which accelerated the harvest pace, but it could hurt the 43% of the soybeans in the state that are still in reproduction.

In the municipality of Canarana in eastern Mato Grosso, early soybean yields are in the range of 20 to 40 sacks per hectare (17.8 to 35.7 bu/ac). Very localized rain and high temperatures negatively impacted the early planted soybeans. Additionally, dry weather delayed the completion of the soybean planting until December and early January. The yield of the late planted soybeans is uncertain at this point. The yield of the early harvested soybeans last year in the municipality was approximately 60 sacks per hectare (53.6 bu/ac). Below is the 2023/24 soybean harvest pace in Mato Grosso (red line) from Imea.


Parana - Farmers in the state of Parana had harvested 19% of their 2023/24 soybeans as of earlier last week according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). The harvest pace is the most advanced since 2019 when 25% of the soybeans had been harvested by the end of January. Last year at this time, only 1% of the soybeans were harvested.

The harvest is accelerated this year because the soybean growth cycle was shortened due to high temperatures during December and early January. Additionally, the soybeans now being harvested were planted earlier than normal in early September.

Deral recently lowered their estimate of the 2023/24 soybean production in the state by 2.6 million tons from 21.8 million in December to 19.2 million in January. In 2022/23, the state produced a record soybean crop of more than 22 million tons.

In the municipality of Sao Joao in southwestern Parana, the soybeans are 8-9% harvested and the average yield is approximately 53 sacks per hectare (47 bu/ac) according to the president of the Rural Union of Sao Joao/PR. He expects the yields to decline as the harvest progresses and end up 20-25% below expectations.

Rio Grande do Sul - Over the weekend, isolated showers with limited coverage fell in Rio Grande do Sul for the first time in three weeks and the near-term forecast is calling for generally dry conditions with elevated temperatures. Emater is warning that moisture stress is already appearing during the heat of the day in the low fertility soils and especially in areas with hilly terrane. The soybeans are still developing normally, but that could be in jeopardy if rainfall is not received soon. They are still expecting a statewide soybean yield of 3,327 kg/ha (49.5 bu/ac).

Farmers in the western part of the state are actively applying fungicides to control soybean rust. Agronomists recommend that they shorten the time interval between applications to no more than 14 days and they rotate between different fungicides to ensure adequate control. The state has confirmed 88 cases of soybean rust (35% of the total cases in Brazil), which is the second most in Brazil after Parana with 123 cases (49% of the total cases in Brazil).

In the municipality of Sao Valerio do Sul in northwestern Rio Grande do Sul, the soybean crop was planted more than two weeks later than normal due to excess rainfall. The crop developed normally until recently when the weather turned dryer. The soybeans that are currently filling pods are expected to yield approximately 60 sacks per hectare (53.6 bu/ac), but the crop will need a good volume of rain within the next one to two weeks to avoid potential yield losses.

This is a complete reversal from earlier in the growing season when the state received persistent heavy rainfall during the months of September, October, and November. Rio Grande do Sul is usually one of the last states in Brazil to plant soybeans because the soybeans are planted after wheat is harvested, but this year, planting was even later than normal due to the saturated conditions.

Goias - The Ministry of Agriculture for the state of Goias recently sponsored a soybean crop tour throughout the state. The tour conducted during the week of January 22nd involved 140 individuals traveling 8,000 kilometers covering five regions of the state and 80 cities.

Erratic weather this growing season resulted in a very wide range of crop development. Hot and dry weather during October and November delayed the soybean planting resulting in a sizable portion of the crop having to be replanted, sometimes more than once. Some of the early maturing soybeans had already been harvested when the tour passed through while some of the replanted soybeans were still germinating.

The tour technicians estimated that the final soybean production in the state will be down 15 to 23% from initial expectations. In 2022/23, the statewide soybean yield was 65 sacks per hectare (58 bu/ac). The 2023/24 crop is currently estimated at 50 to 55 sacks per hectare (44.7 to 49.1 bu/ac) or a loss of 10 to 15 sacks per hectare (8.9 to 13.4 bu/ac).

Early maturing soybeans were the most impacted by the hot and dry weather during October and November. The regions most impacted are southwestern Goias, the Araguaia Valley in western Goias, and northeastern Goias.

During the 2022/23 growing season, Goias produced 17.7 million tons of soybeans. Currently, it is estimated the state will produce between 13.8 to 15.2 million tons in 2023/24, or a reduction of as much as 3 million tons.

Conab and WASDE will release their February crop reports on Thursday, February 8th. For Conab, this will be the first report where they estimate the 2023/24 safrinha corn production based on field observations.