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March 12, 2019

2018/19 Brazil Soybeans 57% Harvested

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The weather in Brazil last week was once again generally on the wet side and the forecast is calling for more rain, but probably not a heavy as the rains that have fallen for about the last month. It looks like most of the rain will be in central Brazil with lighter amounts in southern Brazil.

The Brazilian soybean harvest is approximately 57% complete compared to 48% last year and 47% for the 5-year average. The Brazilian soybean harvest started off very fast this year and it was running at a record fast pace, but it has slowed down the last three weeks due to wet weather. This represents an advance of only 5% for the week.

Approximately 40% of the soybeans are still in the field and Brazilian farmers are always concerned about wet weather during harvest and the potential impact on soybean seed quality. In fact, there are isolated reports coming in of poor seed quality and even some soybeans sprouting in the pods. The last areas to be harvested are Rio Grande do Sul and northeastern Brazil.

Minas Gerais - Heavy rains are slowing the harvest of the soybeans that were ready for harvest at the end of February. In western Minas Gerais there are reports of some of the soybeans sprouting in the pods due to the wet weather. Even if they are not sprouting, seed quality is probably being impacted.

Rio Grande do Sul - The soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul are 8% harvested with another 17% mature and ready for harvest. According to the extension service Emater, the early soybean yields are good.

Mato Grosso do Sul - In the municipality of Maracaju, which is located in southern Mato Grosso do Sul, farmers have harvested 90% of their soybeans with an average yield of 57 sacks per hectare (50.6 bu/ac) which is down about 10% from last year's yields of 64 sacks per hectare (56.8 bu/ac). The early maturing soybeans were negatively impacted by dry weather in November and December, but the later maturing soybeans compensated for some of the losses.

Bahia - The soybean harvest in Bahia is 15% complete and the yields are highly variable from 30 to 70 sacks per hectare (26.6 to 62 bu/ac). The early maturing soybeans were most impacted by the irregular rains in December and January. Yields are expected to improve as the harvest moves into the medium and later maturing soybeans. The Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Bahia is expecting the final statewide soybean yield to be 54 sacks per hectare (48 bu/ac), which is about average for the state. The average soybean price in the state is currently R$ 68 to R$ 69 per sack (approximately $8.24 to $8.36 per bushel) and farmers have sold 42% of their 2018/19 production.

Parana - The soybeans in Parana are 51% harvested and the soybeans still in the field are rated 4% poor, 24% average, and 72% good.

Mato Grosso - According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the soybeans in Mato Grosso are 94.8% harvested compared to 82% last year and for the 5-year average. In many areas of the state, the soybean harvest is wrapping up. The slowest harvest pace continues to be in northeastern Mato Grosso where the soybeans are 86% harvested.

In the municipality of Campo Novo do Parecis, which is located in western Mato Grosso, the farming corporation Group Morens finished their soybean harvest last week with an average yield of 67 sacks per hectare (59.4 bu/ac), which was only slightly less than last year. They have also finished planting their safrinha corn and cotton within the ideal planting window. The early maturing soybeans were hurt by dry weather during December, but the rains improved in mid-January and the good yields from the later maturing soybeans compensated for the lower yields from the early maturing soybeans.