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Brazil’s Soybean Planting Season Is Wrapping Up

The crops are looking good.

Brazil’s soybean producers have nearly completed the planting of the 2017/2018 crop.

There are still some planting operations happening in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and some states in the Northeast of Brazil, according to AgRural consultancy.
 
According to estimates by National Supply Company (Conab), soybean production is expected to be 109,183 metric tons in the 2017/2018 harvest, a fall of 4.3% compared with the production of 114,075 metric tons in the season 2016/2017.
 
Crops are developing well in most producing regions. In Brazil’s southern state of Paraná, the second largest soybean producer, 88% of the fields are considered good and 12% are average, according to a survey by the Department of Rural Economy of Paraná (Deral).
 
Another example is the good development of crops in the state of São Paulo.

“So far, the weather is favoring the fields in São Paulo. Visually, the crops are with a better development than last year. We had rain at the right time after planting. The state of Minas Gerais is also in a very good situation,” says Raul Dorti, superintendent of grains in the Coopercitrus cooperative. “But high humidity and heat mean the weather is conducive to the proliferation of pests and diseases. So, the producer needs to take care of crop management,” he says.
 
The cooperative operates in practically the entire state of São Paulo and in some regions of Minas Gerais state. Coopercitrus represents about 30,000 associated farmers that produce sugarcane, soybeans, corn, coffee, and cattle.
 
Coopercitrus’ soybean crops have a total area of 1.2 million hectares. “The area planted with soybeans is higher in this crop, but production tends to be lower. The month of January is the crucial time to evaluate the filling of the beans and estimate the production,” says Dorti.
 
The only problem is that soybean marketing is slow. “The producer is shrinking in sales expecting better prices. But we guide the producer to sell the volumes necessary to pay the costs of production,” says Dorti.
 

Corn production

According to the Superintendent of Grains, one of the highlights of the 2017/2018 first crop is that the producers reduced the area planted with corn to grow more soybeans. “We are forecasting a 15% to 20% reduction in the area planted with corn in the first crop. But the summer crop traditionally always produces a smaller volume of corn,” he says.
 

The forecasts may also indicate a downturn in the corn market in the second crop.

“The big production takes place in the second harvest. Depending on the price of corn, there is the option of the producer planting sorghum because the cost of production is lower,” says Dorti. But so far, he believes there are favorable conditions for the second crop. “On average, the delay in planting soybeans was between 15 and 20 days. This will not be so detrimental to the cultivation of maize crops in the regions where we operate.”
 
According to estimates by the National Supply Company (Conab), Brazilian corn production in the first harvest will fall 17.8% from 30,462.0 metric tons (2016/2017) to 25,051.6 metric tons in the first harvest in 2017/2018.
 
The second corn crop in Brazil (known as milho safrinha) will be planted after February 2018. It has a production estimate of 67,170.9 metric tons, a decrease of 0.3% when compared to the harvest of 67,380.9 metric tons in the second harvest 2016/2017.
 

Weather forecast

The weather forecast indicates irregular rainfall and water stress in some regions of southern Brazil this week. This may reduce the yield of soybean and corn crops in the first crop in some regions.
 
However, according to Climatempo’s forecast, the expectation for January is above-average rainfall in the South region and rainfall within the average for the Midwest that should favor the soybean filling stage.

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