CORRECTED-Rains slow Brazil soy harvesting, push back second corn plantings

(Corrects paragraph three to say farmers had harvested, not sowed, an estimated 4.2% of the soybean area at this time last season)

By Nayara Figueiredo

SAO PAULO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The return of rains over Brazilian soybean-growing areas is disrupting harvesters, slowing down field work in the world's largest soy producer and potentially delaying planting of the country's second corn crop.

Agribusiness research firm AgRural estimated Brazilian soy farmers had harvested just 0.7% of the planted area through Jan. 21, a 0.3 percentage point rise from the previous week, limited by heavy rainfall.

Last year, farmers nationwide had harvested an estimated 4.2% of the soybean area, AgRural said.

Agroconsult, another agribusiness consultancy, estimates no more than 5 million tonnes of the new soy crop will be harvested in January, less than half the volume for the month last year.

The delayed harvest means the country is poised to export less in the first weeks of 2021 than last year, according shipping data.

Planting and now harvesting delays may also push back sowing of Brazil's second corn crop, which is planted after soybeans are removed from fields.

Brazil's second corn harvest represents about 75% of the country's output, and some of it may be planted after the ideal window if soy harvesting delays persist, farmers said.

"There is never a perfect year," said Bartolomeu Braz, head of grains grower group Aprosoja. "We have no reports of lost soy, but [the rain] ends up hindering the development of the second corn crop," said Pereira.

On the other hand, rainfall is welcome for soybean crops that were sown later, benefiting farmers in states such as Rio Grande do Sul, which should get large volumes of rain through the end of January.

Over the past seven days, rainfall has also been above average in most of Parana state and in southern Mato Grosso do Sul, according to data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo Writing by Ana Mano and Alistair Bell)

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