The slow start to the soybean planting continues in Brazil's Mato Grosso amid sparse, irregular rains.
Two weeks into the season, Brazil's leading soybean state has planted just 0.8% of its projected 20 million acre area, according to the Mato Grosso Agricultural Economy Institute (IMEA).
This is no great cause for concern as planting normally only gains pace in October but farmers are always keen to get a fast start as early planting allows ample time for second crops of corn or cotton.
At the same point last year, Mato Grosso had planted 1.7% of the soybean crop.
Planting is progressing most quickly in the west of the state, where rains have been more regular. In contrast, very little planting has taken place in the northeast of the state.
Fieldwork is a little more advanced in the southern state of Parana, where heavier rain has allowed farmers to plant 2% of the estimated 12 million acre area, according to the state's agricultural department.
Moderate showers during the course of this week in Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul should allow planting to accelerate, said Somar Meteorologia, a local weather service.
Growers will be less fortunate in Mato Grosso and Goias, however, where precipitation will continue to be sparse and patchy, causing less-than-ideal planting conditions to persist.
Indeed, Mato Grosso will only see regular, heavy showers return in the second half of October, says Somar. That's extremely late for the region.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates Brazil will produce 88 million metric tons (mmt) of soybeans in 2013-14, up 7% on the year before.
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