South America Calling

Brazil Soy Planting 93% Complete; Cerrado Dryness a Worry

Planting of the Brazilian soybean crop is reaching a close with hot, dry conditions across the Cerrado continuing to concern.

Fieldwork was 93% complete as of Friday, back on the five-year average of 98% for this time of year, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy.

In Mato Grosso, the No. 1 soybean state, planting is 99% complete with the only work outstanding some replanting in the east.

In the big-producing north of the state, irregular rainfall continues and some farmers expect significant losses. In the south and west of the state, rainfall is more regular.

Meanwhile, across on the eastern part of the Cerrado, in Maranhao, Tocantins, Piaui and Bahia, known as Matopiba, planting is slow amid continued dry weather. Fieldwork in Maranhao is 45% complete, well behind the five-year average of 88% and in Piaui planting is 30% complete compared with a five-year average of 70%. AgRural warned that unless rains return to the region over the next week, losses will start to mount in the region.

Across the rest of the country, crops are in good condition.

In Goias and Mato Grosso do Sul, crops are virtually all in the ground and in good condition.

In the south, farmers in Parana report crops are looking healthy. In Rio Grande do Sul, growers took advantage of drier weather to spray for Asian rust fungus, which has been making an early appearance due to the heavy rains there.AgRural pegs the Brazilian soy crop at 99.7 million metric tons (mmt). Industry group Abiove on Monday raised its estimate for the 2015-16 soy crop to 99.4 million metric tons from its previous estimate of 98.6 million tons.



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