While generally speaking Brazilian soybean planting sweeps from north to south, in recent years it is actually the southern state of Parana that gets off to the quickest start.
And so it has been at the start of the 2015-16 season as well.
Hot, dry weather in Mato Grosso and the rest of the northern Cerrado states mean few farmers started fieldwork once the official planting window opened on Sep. 15.
Few growers in Mato Grosso, Brazil's largest soy state, have been willing to plant until consistent spring showers return amid rising costs and low prices in dollars, noted AgRural, a local farm consultancy.
In contrast, farmers in western Parana have been planting ahead of expected heavy showers in the rest of September and early October. As a result, planting is already 10% complete across the state, ahead of the 7% planted at the same stage last year, while in Mato Grosso only 0.3% of area has been sowed against 1.6% last year according to an AgRural forecast.
Overall, Brazil's soybean crop was 1.7% planted as of Friday, slightly down on 1.6% last year.
Sparse rainfall, high temperatures and low soil moisture mean planting in Mato Grosso has been limited to those who plan to plant cotton after the soybeans, noted AgRural.
That situation will likely continue over the next week with farmers mindful that last year those who planted early saw crops suffer through a dry October.
In contrast, planting is going full speed ahead in Cascavel and other parts of western Parana.
AgRural forecast Brazilian soybean planted area will rise 2.7% to 81 million acres and output will increase 3.4% to 99.4 million metric tons.
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