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Brazil's 2016 Corn Crop Size Continues To Fall

Dry weather hurts yield potential

SAO PAULO, Brazil-- The dry weather and lack of rainfall during grain-fill has reduced projections for Brazil’s winter corn crop, known as safrihna. Recently, AgRural Agricultural Commodities, a private analyst firm, reduced the winter corn production forecast to 48.9 million metric tons, down 10% from last month's figures and 10.5% lower than 2015 production.

According to the consultancy, rains returned in some areas at the end of April, but arrived too late for most farms. With a planted area of 9.990 million hectares (24.685 million acres), estimated yield is 82.3 bags per hectare (73.42 bushels per acre), 13.6% down year-on-year. “If the dry weather continues, further reductions are likely for early June, particularly in areas planted later,” stated AgRural.

Producers await rain to save crops in Mato Grosso

The state of Mato Grosso planted 20% of winter corn late, in March, after the ideal planting window. Mato Grosso recorded scant rainfall in April, and the estimated average yield of winter corn has been reduced from 99 to 85 bags per hectare (88.32 to 75.83 bushels per acre). According to Endrigo Dalcin, president of Aprosoja-MT, the drought continues and the volume of rainfall was insufficient for good development of the crops. “We shall have significant loss of harvest,” said Dalcin.

In Sorriso, in the mid-north region, crops planted after February 20 have potential yields of 60 to 70 bags (53.53 to 62.45 bushels per acre), with some areas producing 100 bags (89.21 bushels per acre). In Campo Novo do Parecis, in the western portion of Mato Grosso, the grain planted up to February 15 should produce 90 to 120 bags (80.29 to 107.06 bushels per acre), but crops planted up to March 10 will likely yield only 65 bags (57.99 bushels per acre).

Related News: Argentina, not U.S. Makes Up Bulk of Brazil's Corn

In Lucas do Rio Verde (MT), one of the main grain-producing regions of Mato Grosso, lack of rainfall is causing concern for producers. According to Carlos Simon, president of the Farming Union of the city, the soybean harvest has been hit by the drought affecting the State this harvest, and the situation for winter corn is uncertain. “If it fails to rain in the next five days, losses will be even greater,” said Simon. The situation affects the group of producers in the region, who are expecting lower income compared with the previous harvest.

In the mid-west and southeast regions, where some farms were planted after the ideal windows, only grain planted by the beginning of February has good potential, affirms AgRural. 

In Mato Grosso do Sul, April's drought has reduced yields by 8.5 bags to 78 bags per hectare (69.59 bushels per acre). Down 29 bags compared with the previous estimate, the estimated yield for Goiás is only 79 bags per hectare vs. 111 bags in 2015 (70.48 vs. 99.03 bushels per acre). In Rio Verde, in the southwest, 40% of the corn is tasseling while dry weather continues with no rain forecast. In the east of Goiás, there are reports of plant death due to lack of moisture.

In Minas Gerais, the drought affected a large proportion of the corn in vegetative and early reproductive stages. Down 8 bags, the average yield is estimated at 82 bags per hectare (73.15 bushels per acre). In São Paulo, the average is estimated at 75 bags per hectare (66.91 bushels per acre), compared with the previous estimate of 79.5 bags (70.92 bushels per acre). Losses to lack of moisture were greater in the north region.

In Paraná, despite low volume of rainfall recorded in April, losses occurred only in late areas. In the west, crops planted by the first week of February have potential for up to 120 bags (107.06 bushels per acre). In Cornélio Procópio, in the north, the areas affected by the dry weather are likely to yield 86 bags (76.72 bushels per acre). The average yield for Parana is calculated at 94.5 bags per hectare (84.31 bushels per acre) compared with the previous estimate of 95 bags (84.75 bushels per acre).

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Written by Naiara Araújo, reporter of Successful Farming-Brazil at sfagro.com.br

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