South America Calling

Brazil Soy Harvest Still Slow

By Alastair Stewart

Brazilian soybean harvest efforts were once again sluggish last week as rain continued to hamper fieldwork in the center-west, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy.

As of Friday, farmers had harvested 1.5% of the crop, back from the 3.5% harvested at the same stage last year and the five-year average of 2%, it said.

In Mato Grosso, Brazil's premier soy state, the sun appeared for part of the week, but rain soon returned again, hindering fieldwork.

Harvesting was 3.6% complete in the state, back from 7.4% at the stage last year. Late planting means much less of the crop is ready to be collected than in 2015.

Reports of poor early harvest yields continue to come in from the north of the state, which suffered the worst of the patchy, dry weather in November and December. According to AgRural, yields of between 22 and 36 bushels per acre are being reported in Novo Mutum, center-north of the state, where farmers normally expect 50 bpa. However, later-planted beans have benefited from the intense rain over the last month.

In Goias, the No. 4 soy state, harvesting was 0.3% complete, back from 3% last year, while in Mato Grosso do Sul, fieldwork is 0.6% complete, compared with 2% a year ago.

In southern Brazil, dry weather has yet to prompt an acceleration in fieldwork.

In Parana, the No. 2 soy state, harvest was 2.3% complete as of Friday against 5% at the same point in 2015. However, AgRural reported that harvesting may start to gain pace in the early producing west of the state, if the weather holds.

In Rio Grande do Sul, producers have not yet started harvesting and are waiting anxiously for precipitation forecast for next week after a previously dry fortnight. The current sunny conditions are beneficial to the state's crop after an extremely wet November and December but it must be relieved soon.

Finally, in Matopiba, the frontier region in the eastern Cerrado, crops continue to enjoy heavy rains, AgRural said. Previously, planting had been delayed by up to a month because of dry weather.



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