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Brazilian harvest bottleneck

02/11/2011 @ 8:07pm

CAMPO MOURAO, Parana (Agriculture.com)—Ongoing rain events combined with a late maturing soybean crop is expected to cause a bottleneck affect on the Brazilian harvest season.

Parana, the No. 2 Brazilian soybean producing state, is 10 days behind on early-planted soybeans with only 1% harvested. Mato Grosso, Brazil’s No. 1 soybean-producing state, is experiencing a 7% harvest delay, according to the latest figures from IMEA, a Mato Grosso state agency.

Following a delayed planting season, cold weather delayed the 2011 crop’s maturity, which has been followed by heavy February rainfalls.

Joao Fransisco, a Londrina, Parana farmer says his soybean crop is on-schedule to be harvested in late February.

In northern Parana, Embrapa, a government research agency, reports total rainfall for December, January and six days of February amounts to 17.00” of rain. That is below a 20.00” average for those same months. But, it’s still early in the month, with rain events occurring nearly everyday.

In the last four days, 4.00”-5.00” of rain has fallen in west-central Parana. As I write this story, the windshield wipers are working overtime.

Harvest delays

As a result, Parana farmers are concerned about some yield loss, infrastructure issues such as logjams on highways, long lines at shipping port facilities, and even harvest equipment needs.

Jaime Neitzke, medium-sized farmer is expecting a soybean yield of 53 bushels per acre vs. 44-46 last year. The 300-acre southern Brazil farmer sees trouble ahead in trying to get his crop to market.

“Because my multiple variety crops are going to mature at the same time, I will have to rent a combine to handle it all,” Neitzke says. Plus, because all of my neighbors will be harvesting at the same time, renting combines as well, how do I know if I will get one?” There will also be a shortage of grain trucks and heavy traffic on roads to ports.”

In addition, if the soybean crop hits the ports all at once, those facilities will face closures, Neitzke says.

Nelson Paluo, a Toledo, Parana farm bureau president checks late-maturing soybeans sprayed to shutdown growth.

Oilson Miguel Vargas farms 1,800 acres outside of Cascavel, Parana. The southern Brazil corn and soybean producer agrees the continued rainfall threatens the harvest season. “I’m concerned as well,” Vargas says while attending a local farm show.

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