With no more than sparse showers registered across Brazil's principal soy-producing regions, harvest efforts moved forward smartly last week, said AgRural, a local farm consultancy.
Fieldwork progressed seven percentage points to 23% as of Friday, surpassing the five-year average of 20% collected at this point of the season, it said.
Harvesting was particularly quick in the states of Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul and Sao Paulo
In Parana, the No. 2 soy state, the soybean harvest progressed 13 points to 43% complete, up from 27% at the same point last year.
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In general, the yields have been excellent in the big-producing western area of the state, although dry weather in January has reduced long-cycle bean yields by 5% to 10%, said AgRural. In Campo Gerais, northern Parana, yields of 49 to 58 bushels per acre have been recorded.
Harvesting really leapt forward in Mato Grosso do Sul, where 38% of the crop is now harvested, up from 24% at the same point last year.
Showers across Mato Grosso, the No. 1 soy state, didn't really affect harvesting, which progressed 9 points to reach 33% complete, just behind last year when fieldwork was 34% finished.
Yields are varying wildly in the north of the state, which was one of the areas most affected by a dry October and November. Figures of between 40 bpa and 55 bpa are being posted in Sinop, said AgRural. In Rondonopolis, in the south of the state, average yields of 49 bpa are being registered.
In Goias, the No.4 state, harvesting was 28% complete, a little behind the 31% registered one year before.
In Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state, harvesting has just begun and is 1% complete. Early harvest bean yields are a disappointing 36 bpa to 40 bpa in Ijui, in the northwest of the state, after a dry January.
In the northeast, farmers are concerned about moisture. Showers did fall in many parts of the region but they aren't sufficient to allow the crop to recuperate.
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