Jun 05, 2024

2023/24 Brazil Safrinha Corn 4.7% Harvested

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

Safrinha corn harvesting is just getting underway in Brazil and the first yields are expected to be the highest of the season because they are from the early planted corn, some of which was irrigated. Corn yields in Mato Grosso are positive with some exceptions, they are mixed in Goias, and they are disappointing in Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul.

The 2023/24 safrinha corn was 4.7% harvested as of late last week compared to 1.4% last year according to AgRural. This represented an advance of 2.7% for the week. As of last week, Conab rated the safrinha corn as 0.3% in vegetative development, 6.8% pollinating, 56.4% filling grain, and 35.6% maturing.

Mato Grosso - The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported that 4.7% of the safrinha corn in the state had been harvested as of late last week compared to 1.2% last year and 1.9% average. This represents an advance of 2.7% for the week. Much of the early harvest comes from irrigated fields and the early yields in Mato Grosso are satisfactory with some exceptions and corn yields are expected to decline as the harvest progresses. Below is the safrinha corn harvest progress in Mato Grosso from Imea.


Parana - In their latest monthly report, the Department of Rural Economics for the state of Parana (Deral) reduced their estimate of the 2023/24 safrinha corn crop in the state by 300,000 tons to 13.2 million. With this new reduction, the safrinha corn crop is now down 7% from the 14.3 million tons produced in 2022/23.

Deral cited hot and dry conditions during the growing season especially in western and northwestern parts of the state as the reason for the reduction. The state recently received some rainfall, which will help corn that is filling grain, but it came too late to help corn that is maturing. The forecast is calling for dry weather for at least the next two weeks.

Deral reported that 4% of the safrinha corn has been harvested and the remaining crop is 5% pollinating, 52% filling grain, and 43% maturing. The corn is rated 17% poor, 32% average, and 51% good. These ratings are similar to the prior week.

The harvest is most advanced in northwestern Parana where corn yields have been negatively impacted by dry weather. The harvest is also starting in western Parana where yields are satisfactory, but below initial expectations.

A typical situation is the municipality of Goioere in west-central Parana. After the corn was planted in February, it encountered 30 days of dry weather followed by a brief period of 1-2 inches of rain in mid-April followed by another 30-day period of dry weather. Safrinha corn yields in the municipality are normally in the range of 70-80 sacks per hectare (67 to 76 bu/ac), but this year, they are not expected to surpass 50 sacks per hectare (47.7 bu/ac).

Mato Grosso do Sul - The Agriculture and Livestock Federation of Mato Grosso do Sul (Famasul) classified the safrinha corn crop in the state as 22.9% poor, 20.8% average, and 56.2% good. Corn in the southern half of the state is rated lowest, while the northern half of the state is rated the highest. Corn in southern Mato Grosso do Sul suffered two extended periods of dry weather during March and early April and then again in late April and early May.

Famasul is estimating the statewide corn yield at 86.3 sacks per hectare (82.3 bu/ac)with the yields in the northern part of the state estimated at 115 sacks per hectare (109.7 bu/ac).

Goias - The president of Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Goias (Aprosoja/GO) is expecting the 2023/24 safrinha corn crop in the state to be down 22% compared to last year. He estimates that the acreage is down 10-12% from last year and dry weather that started on April 20th will impact the later planted corn. The crop has also encountered heavy disease and insect pressures. Aprosoja/GO is estimating the 2023/24 safrinha production in the state at 8.5 to 9.0 million tons compared to 11 million tons produced last year.

Maranhao - The state of Maranhao in northeastern Brazil has received little rainfall over the past 30 days and the dry weather has negatively impacted corn yields in the state, especially for the late planted corn. According to the president of the Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Maranhao (Aprosoja/MA), corn planted before March 10th will suffer yield losses of approximately 10%. Corn planted after that date could suffer yield losses of 20%.

It appears that the annual dry season has set in and there is little to no rain in the forecast until the corn harvest starts in July.

Heavy insect pressures this growing season has increased the cost of safrinha corn production in the state. Corn leafhoppers have been a particular concern and some farmers have had to apply insecticide 8 to 10 times to control the insect.

The current spot price for corn in the state is in the range of R$ 49 to R$ 56 per sack (approximately $4.35 to $5.00 per bushel). For farmers who utilized a higher level of technology, the corn price needs to be about R$ 60 per sack (approximately $5.35 per bushel) for farmers to break even on their 2023/24 safrinha corn production.

Conab reported that the first corn crop in Brazil was 78.4% harvested as of last week compared to 81.8% last year. The first corn crop is 99% harvested in Parana, 94% in Minas Gerais, 93% in Rio Grande do Sul, 70% in Goias, 67% in Bahia, 30% in Piaui, and 23% in Maranhao.