South America Calling

Brazilian Soy Planting Falls Behind Schedule

Brazilian soybean planting fell behind schedule over the last week as dry weather persisted in the Center-West.

After showers at the start of the month triggered a first wave of planting in Mato Grosso and surrounding areas, hot, dry weather since has caused farmers to halt the machines until further rain falls, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy. And, unfortunately, that rain is only forecast for the end of the month.

As of Friday, Brazilian soybean planting was 13% complete, an advance on the 10% planted at the same stage last year but well behind the five-year average of 18% complete, said the consultancy.

Delays are most pronounced in Mato Grosso, the No. 1 soy state, where planting is 14% done, well back from the five-year average of 35%. High temperatures across the state mean the soil moisture provided by isolated showers soon evaporated, AgRural said.

In neighboring Goias, planting is just 4% complete compared with the five-year average of 17% for this point of the season.

In contrast, favorable weather in Parana, the No. 2 soy state in the south, has allowed planting to run ahead of schedule. Beans were 42% planted as of Friday there compared with the five-year average of 32%. Despite very humid soils, farmers in the north of the state continued to forge ahead with fieldwork. Up until last week, the fast planting in Parana was offsetting the slow start in Mato Grosso.

Meanwhile, extremely heavy rainfall in the southernmost state of Rio Grande has caused widespread flooding in some regions. They only plant later down there in the No. 3 soy state, though. According to AgRural, not even one percent of the crop has been planted compared with 2% at the same point last year.

So this year's soybean season is shaping up very much like last year's with the trademark El Nino characteristics manifesting themselves once again. We now wait to see if rainfall normalizes in November across the Center-West as is typical in an El Nino year.

AgRural forecasts Brazilian soybean area will grow by 2.7% in 2015-16 to 81.0 acres.



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