South America Calling

Brazilian Soy Planting Progresses on Track

By Alastair Stewart

Heavy rains in the south and the promise of precipitation in the northeast kept Brazilian soybean planting on track last week.

Meanwhile, continued showers in the center-west are fostering good soybean crop development there.

Brazilian farmers had planted 79% of the 2013-14 soybean crop as of Friday, up 10 percentage points on the week before, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy.

Planting is now just ahead of the 78% planted at the same point last year and just behind the five-year average of 81%.

With soybean planting complete in most of Mato Grosso, Goias, Mato Grosso do Sul and Parana, fieldwork is currently concentrated in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state, and Bahia, Piaui, Maranhao and Tocantins in the northeast.

Approximately 4 inches of rain fell across Rio Grande do Sul's northern soybean belt last week, creating excellent planting conditions. As a result, planting moved ahead 21 percentage points to 54% in the seven days to Friday.

The situation is more complicated in northeastern Brazil, where there was no rainfall last week in many producing areas. However, the promise of showers this week prompted some producers to keep planting. The slow arrival of autumn rains has left fieldwork well behind schedule in Bahia, the main producing state, which has planted just 26% of the crop compared with 55% at the same point last year.

In Mato Grosso, where planting is 96% complete, rainfall has been abundant -- indeed, a bit too abundant in some places -- as crops move into the flowering phase.

In Parana, where the crop is 90% planted, the weather switched between intense rain and showers all week, allowing for good crop development and the effective application of chemicals, said AgRural.

Alastair Stewart can be reached at



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