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More regular rains take Brazil’s soybean planting to 58%

Brazilian farmers had planted 58 percent of their 2019/20 soybean area by Nov 7, according to a weekly survey conducted by AgRural. That represents a progress of 12 percentage points in one week and keeps the new crop planting pace slightly ahead of the five-year average. There is still a delay, however, in comparison to last year.

Favorable weather conditions seen last week took the area already planted to 94 percent in top-producer Mato Grosso, where the soybean crop develops well so far. The only issue, for now, is that the state will not have new soybeans entering the market as early as in the 2018/19 season, when some farmers were already harvesting in late December.

Mato Grosso grows about 65% of Brazil’s second corn crop, which will be planted right after the soybean harvest, in January and February 2020. That means that a good chunk of the Brazilian corn crop will not be behind schedule or have any significant problem caused by delays in the soybean planting. Corn planting might face some disruptions if it rains too much in early 2020, but that is another story and belongs to the future.

In number-two producer Paraná, much-needed rains hit the state last week and farmers were finally able to catch up, after a dry, hot, nervous October. But, since part of the soybean crop was planted after the normal dates, part of the second corn crop will be sown in March, and that is not exactly good for corn yields. The same will happen in parts of Mato Grosso do Sul. Is that a big threat to the corn crop that Brazil will harvest in the second half of 2020? Not exactly. Not yet.

In the rest of the country, irregular rains have kept the soybean planting slower than normal, but forecasts look good for the remainder of November. Potential production is seen by AgRural at 121 million metric tons, a new record. Right now, and despite the problems faced since September, there is no reason to believe that that number will not be met. But, of course, the blooming stage is just beginning in areas planted earlier and the best – or the worst – is yet to come. 

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