Reduced rainfall during this Carnival week allowed Brazilian farmers to accelerate harvest efforts, said AgRural, a local farm consultancy, Friday.
As a result, fieldwork progressed six percentage points to 16%, surpassing the 14% collected at the same point last year, it said.
Harvesting was particularly quick in Parana, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul.
In Parana, the No. 2 soy state, soybeans were 30% harvest as of Friday, up from 23% at the same point last year.
In the center-west, showers benefited the crop without significantly hindering harvest efforts.
In Mato Grosso, the No. 1 soy state, harvesting moved forward 12 points last week to reach 24% complete, marginally ahead of the 23% collected last year.
In Goias, the No. 4 state, harvesting raced ahead 11 points to reach 18% collected, ahead of 15% last year.
Harvesting is beginning to speed up after the extremely slow start, although when looking at the comparative numbers it is worth noting that last year's crop was also significantly delayed.
One major weather concern is the return of hot, dry weather in the Mapitoba region in the eastern Cerrado, said AgRural.
JAN RAIN BOOSTS SOY
The above-average rainfall in January prompted AgRural to raise its Brazilian soybean crop forecast by 1 million metric tons to 99.7 mmt. That's up 3.6% on the year before.
The wet weather nourished a crop that had suffered amid irregular rainfall in the last quarter of 2015. It particularly favored medium- and long-cycle beans in Mato Grosso and AgRural raised its average yield forecast for the state by 2.7% to 45 bushels per acre. The Goias average yield figure was raised by 2% to 46 bpa.
Average yield forecasts for Parana and Rio Grande do Sul were maintained.
So, after a difficult start, Brazil is on course to harvest another bumper crop.
Alastair Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @astewartbrazil
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