South America Calling

Brazil's Soybean Planting Hits 59%

By Alastair Stewart

Brazilian soybean planting continued to move forward at a solid pace over the past week.

Rainfall was lighter than in recent weeks, but ample soil moisture in most of the planting regions ensured field work could continue.

Farmers had sown 59% of projected planted area up to Friday, Nov. 8, up 11 percentage points on the week before and in line with the five-year average for this time of year, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy.

Planting is nearing completion in Mato Grosso and Parana but now gearing up in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul and the northeast.

In Mato Grosso, the top soy-producing state, planting moved forward 13 percentage points last week to reach 85% of projected area, according to AgRural.

Northern parts of the state continue to receive ample rains, which are important for the development of a crop that is now 96% planted and approaching flowering.

The situation is similar in the northwest, where the crop is now almost completely planted and abundant rains make for a promising outlook.

The only weather issues are in the south of the state. Rainfall has been irregularly distributed in the region, which has planted 86% of the crop, prompting replanting in some isolated cases.

The travails of some farmers in the south of the state doesn't take away from the fact that, overall, the state's crop is in excellent condition.

In Parana, the No. 2 soybean state, planting progressed 9 percentage points this past week to reach 72% of projected area, in line with the five-year average.

With planting virtually complete in the west of the state -- and crops looking excellent -- the focus of farmer activity has switched to the center-south and east of the state, AgRural said.

These regions received little rain, but ample soil moisture means planting is going well.

In Rio Grande do Sul, the No. 3 state, planting moved forward 9 percentage points this past week to reach 17% complete. The lack of rain this past week stressed local farmers, but soil moisture remains adequate, and the forecast promises more precipitation this week.

AgRural forecasts Brazil will produce 88.7 million metric tons (mmt) of soybeans, up 9% on the year before.

(AG)

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