Feb 21, 2024

2023/24 Brazil Soybeans 32% Harvested vs. 26% Average

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

There has been a lot of speculation in Brazil if the yields of the later maturing soybeans would be able to compensate for the low yields from the early maturing soybeans. We are now close to having the final yields from several locations in Mato Grosso and Parana, which are Brazil's two largest soybean producing states, and it appears that the later maturing soybeans will not be able to fully compensate for lower yields from the early maturing soybeans.

Generally, the final yields are running approximately 10 bu/ac below what had been expected initially. If the initial yield expectation had been in the mid-50s bu/ac range, yields are coming in mid or upper 40s bu/ac, or 10% to 20% below expectations, depending on location.

Therefore, the 2023/24 Brazil soybean estimate was lowered 2.0 million tons this week to 145.0 million. If the current yield trend continues going forward, the Brazilian soybean estimate could move lower.

Rainfall last week favored south central and southern Brazil with the heaviest amounts in western Sao Paulo and western Rio Grande do Sul. The rain helped ease dryness in south central areas. The rainfall this week will be more focused on northern Brazil.

On an official mission to the U.S. last week, the Secretary of Agricultural Policy at the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Neri Geller, indicated that he felt that the 2023/24 Brazilian soybean production would fall below 145.0 million tons.

The 2023/24 soybeans in Brazil were 32% harvested as of late last week compared to 25% last year and 25.8% average according to AgRural. This represents an advance of 9% for the week. The harvest pace is being pushed along by Mato Grosso and Parana.

Mato Grosso - The soybeans in Mato Grosso were 65% harvested as of late last week compared to 60% last year and 57.8% average. This represents an advance of 13.5% for the week. The most advanced harvest is in the mid-north and western regions where 85% of the soybeans have been harvested. The slowest harvest pace is in northeastern Mato Grosso where 42% of the soybeans have been harvested.

In the municipality of Ipiranga do Norte in central Mato Grosso, the yields of the early maturing soybeans were in the range of 15 to 30 sacks per hectare (13.4 to 26.8 bu/ac). Now that the harvest of the later maturing soybeans is nearly complete, the average soybean yield for the 2023/24 growing season is expected to be approximately 54 sacks per hectare (48.2 bu/ac). In 2022/23, the average statewide soybean yield in Mato Grosso was 56 bu/ac.

In the municipality of Nova Mutum in south central Mato Grosso, the soybeans are 90% harvested and the yields are averaging 50 to 51 sacks per hectare (44.7 to 45.5 bu/ac) according to the president of the Rural Union of Nova Mutum/MT. This represents a loss of 15 to 17% compared to initial expectations, or 6-8 bu/ac.

Below is the soybean harvest pace in Mato Grosso (red line) from the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics.


Parana - At the start of the 2023/24 growing season, farmers in Parana had high hopes for a good soybean crop. Planting started off quickly and there was abundant rain that aided early crop development. But in December when the early planted soybeans were in their critical reproductive phase, the weather turned hot and dry and the result has been disappointing soybean yields in parts of the state.

Municipality of Palotina, Parana - In the municipality of Palotina in western Parana, the soybean harvest is wrapping up with disappointing yields. According to the president of the Rural Union of Palotina/PR, at the start of the growing season, farmers had anticipated soybean yields in the range of 60 to 65 sacks per hectare (53.6 to 58 bu/ac) maybe as high as 70 sacks per hectare (62.5 bu/ac). In reality, the average yield for the 2023/24 soybean crop in the municipality will be in the range of 50 to 55 sacks per hectare (44.7 to 49 bu/ac).

The reason for the disappointing yields was hot and dry weather during late December and early January when the soybeans were filling pods.

Municipality of Marechal Candido Rondon, Parana - In the municipality of Marechal Candido Rondon in western Parana, the soybean harvest is nearly complete and the yields are below expectations. According to the president of the Rural Union of Marechal Candido Rondon/PR, farmers in the region had expected soybean yields of 60 sacks per hectare or more (53.6 bu/ac), but the final yield will be approximately 50 sacks per hectare (44.7 bu/ac). The region encountered three weeks of hot and dry weather as the soybeans were filling pods resulting in lower yields.

The Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Parana (Aprosoja/PR), in conjunction with Aprosoja/Brasil, is petitioning the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture to extend the payment period for farmer's production loans by at least six months due to low yields and low soybean prices.

Goias - The soybeans in Goias were 20% harvested as of late last week and Aprosoja/GO is expecting yields to be down 10-20%. After conducting a tour of the state, the Agriculture and Livestock Federation of Goias (FAEG) estimated that soybean production in the state would decline by 15% to 23% compared to last year. While the soybean harvest is under way in parts of the state, the soybeans that had to be replanted due to dry conditions in northern and northeastern Goias as well as in the Araguaia Valley, are still in vegetative development, which is extremely late.

In early February, the Governor of Goias declared a state of emergency in 25 municipalities in southern and southwestern Goias due to crop losses. Last Friday, the Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Goias (Aprosoja/GO) asked for an emergency meeting with the governor of Goias, Ronaldo Caiado, to discuss state aid for farmers impacted by low soybean yields and low soybean prices. Aprosoja/GO wants the governor to allow farmers to renegotiate their production loans with extended payment periods. The prices for soybeans and corn in Goias are down approximately 30% compared to a year earlier.

Rio Grande do Sul - Rainfall in the state remains variable with adequate amounts in some areas and continued moisture deficits in others. The forecast for this week is for typical afternoon showers with temperatures in the mid-80s °F. The soybeans in the state are generally flowering and setting pods. The irrigated soybeans are developing normally while some of the dryland soybeans are exhibiting moisture stress,

The consulting firm Agrinvest lowered their estimate of the Brazilian soybean crop to 147.8 million tons last week, which is down 1.8 million tons from their January estimate of 149.6 million.