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Brazil’s New Soybean Planting Season Delayed by Dryness

Late start causes concerns about soybean crop finishing on time.

The Brazilian soybean crop 2017/2018 is already beginning. In the state of Paraná, producers are already authorized to start planting.

The legal window of no field activity, between the end of the harvest of the old crop and the start of planting for the new season known as “sanitary vacuum” (vazio sanitário), is over.  

The phytosanitary policy prohibits cultivation during a period to control Asian rust in the state of Paraná. That pause period ended on September 10.
 
Although producers in Paraná are authorized to plant, they haven’t been able to start sowing because of the unfavorable weather. With extremely dry weather and no rainfall forecast, the start of planting was postponed in some cities.

The producer José Antônio Borghi, who is also president of the Rural Union of Maringá (city of Paraná), is one of the producers who had to postpone the beginning of sowing. Even with everything ready to put the machines in the field, there is no prediction of when he will start planting at Fazenda Marajó, located in Maringá (Paraná). “The producer should not risk and start planting, he has to make a crop safely,” says Borghi. He believes that once the rainfall returns or at least a positive weather forecast, farmers in the region will start planting.

Another producer from Paraná who delayed the soybean planting is Rosele Salvati, which grows soybeans in Fazenda SS, in Cascavel. “Here in this region has not rained for 26 days, we are waiting to start planting,” says Salvati. According to him, some farmers started planting but are now very concerned about the initial development of soybean crops.

Weather forecast

At the same time last year, he says that planting had already begun in the region. Now with no rain forecast for the next 15 days, he believes that planting should start in October and worries about the tighter window planting. “This situation already begins to limit the planting of second-crop corn,” says the producer.

Other regions in Brazil may also delay the start of soybean planting. Mato Grosso, whose vazio sanitário ends on September 15, may also face a dry season. According to information from Climatempo, the Southeast, Midwest, and the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí, and Bahia are not feasible because of low levels of soil moisture. In Paraná, as of September 25, there is a forecast that the rains will return.

Optimism despite the delay

Even with the delayed planting, the soybean farmers’ expectation is good for the new crop. “The producer is optimistic,” says Borghi. In the 2017-2018 crop he will grow 500 hectares of soybeans in the same area as last year and expect to maintain productivity at 50- to 60-kilos bag per hectare. Dissatisfied with soybean prices in the 2016-2017 season, he expects a positive reaction for the new season. “We always believe that it can change because the market is very dynamic,” says the producer.

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Written By Naiara Araújo, Successful Farming-Brasil Reporter