Dry weather throughout April severely damaged second-crop corn across Brazil's center-west region, prompting AgRural, a local farm consultancy, Thursday to lower its crop estimate to 48.9 million metric tons (mmt).
That's some 10% lower than its previous forecast and 10.5% down from last year despite a 3.7% increase in area, putting an end to the run of four consecutive years of record crops.
Farmers in the region have been complaining loudly that the crop is suffering, and respected consultants such as Agroconsult and Celeres lowered their figures to 52 mmt over the last week, well down on original expectations of around 60 mmt. But AgRural is among the first to predict output will be below 50 mmt.
With so much corn planted late, continued dry weather in May could produce further losses. AgRural warned it could cut further when it releases its next survey in June.
In areas of the center-west and southeast where the crop was planted in early February, or in good time, the crops look good. The rest is in poor shape, said AgRural.
Goias state is the worst affected, with average yields pegged at 76 bushels per acre compared with 106 bpa in 2015.
In Mato Grosso, the 20% of the crop that was planted in March has received little rain. As a result, AgRural lowered the average yield forecast for the state from 95 bpa to 81 bpa.
The southeastern state of Minas Gerais also saw corn suffer but crops in the key southern state of Parana loos generally good with only areas that planted late suffering.
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