Feb 14, 2024

2023/24 Brazil Safrinha Corn 38% Planted vs. 25% Last Year

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

The main reason for lowering the corn estimate was lower acreage for the first corn crop and lower acreage for the safrinha corn crop. Conab is estimating that the safrinha corn acreage will be down 7.6% from last year or 1.31 million hectares. There are disagreements concerning the safrinha corn acreage. Some analysts feel the acreage will be greater than initially expected due to the accelerated soybean harvest. On the other hand, the worsening financial situation for Brazilian farmers may result in lower safrinha acreage.

Due to low soybean yields and the lowest soybean prices in three years, some Brazilian farmers are already expressing concerns that they may be forced to declare bankruptcy and not be able to pay their bills or produce enough soybeans to meet their forward contracts. Under those circumstances, farmers would be reluctant to plant an expensive safrinha corn crop when corn prices are already below the cost of production. This would be especially true if the corn is planted outside the ideal planting window when there is an increased risk of lower yields.

Additionally, farmers who have planted their safrinha corn are reporting high infestations of stink bugs, caterpillars, and corn leaf hoppers with some farmers already making multiple insecticide applications. These pest infestations will increase the cost of safrinha production.

In a note issued last Friday, Aprosoja Brasil advised farmers to be prudent and cautious and not to make immediate or future sales of their grain and not to make advanced purchases of inputs or plans to expand the area.

Therefore, I think the safrinha corn acreage may decline further in subsequent reports. Additionally, some metrologists are forecasting an early end to the summer rainy season, but we will not know that until sometime in late March or early April.

The 2023/24 safrinha corn in Brazil was 38% planted as of late last week compared to 25% last year according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 11% for the week.

In their February Crop Report, Conab lowered their estimate of the 2023/24 Brazil corn production by 3.91 million tons to 113.69, which is a reduction of 3.3% compared to January. In the February WASDE Report, the USDA lowered their estimate of the 2023/24 Brazil corn production by 3.0 million tons to 124.0 million.

Mato Grosso safrinha corn - The safrinha corn in Mato Grosso was 42.1% planted as of late last week compared to 34% last year and 40.6% average according to Imea. This represents an advance of 13.4% for the week. The most advanced planting is in the mid-north region where the safrinha corn is 62% planted. The slowest region is in southeastern Mato Grosso where 24% of the corn has been planted. The average price of corn in the state last week was R$ 39.40 per sack (approximately $3.62 per bushel). Below is the 2023/24 safrinha corn planting pace in Mato Grosso (red line) from Imea.


Parana Safrinha corn - Farmers in the state had planted 32% of their safrinha corn as of last week. Conab is estimating that the state will produce 16.3 million tons of corn in 2023/24, which is down 11.7% from the 18.5 million tons produced in 2022/23.

Rio Grande do Sul - Dryer weather last week accelerated the corn harvest in Rio Grande do Sul that is now 52% complete. This represents an advance of 11% for the week. Corn yields in the state are variable with some of the best fields yielding 10,000 kg/ha (159 bu/ac) and the poorer fields yielding 3-5,000 kg/ha (48 to 79 bu/ac). The statewide average corn yield is expected to be below the initial expectation of 7,414 kg/ha (118 bu/ac).