Mar 27, 2024

2023/24 Brazil Soybeans 69% Harvested

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

Heavy storms swept across southern Brazil on Wednesday and Thursday of last week as a strong cold front moved into the area. Strong winds, heavy rains, and large hail led to widespread damage of structures in addition to potential crop losses. In Rio Grande do Sul, Civil Defense officials registered damage in 123 municipalities including down trees, down power lines, damage to roofs, localized flooding, and blocked highways. Rainfall amounts were up to 6 inches with wind gusts as high as 140 kilometers per hour.

The south-central area of Rio Grande do Sul was hardest hit where localized flooding closed or partially closed highways. Strong winds caused lodging of the soybean plants in the state that are filling pods and reaching maturity. Most of the corn in the state has already been harvested, but damage probably occurred to corn waiting to be harvested.

Rainfall over the weekend favored east central and northwestern areas of Brazil and the forecast is calling for rainfall in the northern areas especially Mato Grosso and Goias. Southern Brazil is expected to be mostly dry this week.

Brazil's soybean estimate was left unchanged this week at 145.0 million tons. The last two areas to harvest will be Rio Grande do Sul and northeastern Brazil where yields are expected to be good. The U.S. attaché lowered the Brazilian soybean estimate 5.9 million tons to 152.6 million.

Brazil soybeans were 69.3% harvested as of late last week compared to 70.4% last year and 71.7% average according to Patria AgroNegocios. This represents an advance of 7% for the week.

Mato Grosso - The soybeans in Mato Grosso were 98.5% harvested as of late last week compared to 97.4% last year and 98.5% average. This represents an advance of 2.9% for the week. The soybean harvest in the state should be completed in 1-2 weeks.

Parana - Farmers in the state of Parana had harvested 80% of their 2023/24 soybeans as of earlier last week compared to 60% last year according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral). This represents an advance of 7% for the week and is the fastest harvest pace in eight years. The harvest is accelerated because the soybeans were planted earlier than normal last September and periods of hot and dry weather during the growing season accelerated the plant development.

Rio Grande do Sul - Heavy rains last week in Rio Grande do Sul slowed the initial soybean harvest which stood at 3% as of late last week compared to 12% last year and 19% average according to Emater. This represents an advance of 2% for the week. The soybean crop in the state is 59% filling pods and 27% mature.

Early soybean yields in the state vary from 1,500 kg/ha (22 bu/ac) in areas of low productivity and insufficient precipitation to 4,800 kg/ha (71 bu/ac) for irrigated soybeans in highly productive areas. Emater is estimating the statewide soybean yield at 3,329 kg/ha (49.6 bu/ac). Rio Grande do Sul is expected to surpass Parana this year as the second largest soybean producing state in Brazil.

Rondonia - Farmers in the state of Rondonia in northwestern Brazil have harvested 80% of their 2023/24 soybean crop and yields are expected to be down approximately 20% from initial expectations according to a researcher from Embrapa Rondonia The average statewide soybean yield is estimated at 50 sacks per hectare (44.7 bu/ac).

Dry conditions at the start of the season delayed planting and hot and dry conditions in October and November negatively impacted the crop development. In their March Crop Report, Conab estimated that farmers in the state planted 635,000 hectares of soybeans in 2023/24 (+6.8% compared to last year) and that the state would produce 2.0 million tons of soybeans.