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March 13, 2018

Lack of Trucks to Haul Grain Worries Farmers in Eastern Goias

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Brazilian farmers in eastern Goias are harvesting a very large soybean crop this year, but they are concerned about a number of logistical issues including: a lack of trucks to move the crop, grain elevators that are rapidly filling up, a lack of grain drying capacity, and a lack of custom harvesters.

These issues are being cause by several factors including a slower than normal harvest pace in Parana, persistent wet weather, and slow farmer selling. The soybean harvest pace in Parana has been quite slow and that has caused truckers to stay in the state longer than they normally would. This has resulted in a shortage of trucks in eastern Goias.

Additionally, custom harvesters usually move out of Parana and into eastern Goias when the harvest winds down in Parana. The problem this year is that the harvest in Parana is approximately 2-3 weeks later than normal and the custom harvesters are late to arrive in eastern Goias. Some farmers are reporting a 50% drop in the number of custom harvesters in their area forcing some farmers to actually rush out and purchase a combine at the last minute so they can harvest their soybeans.

Another problem has been high moisture soybeans due to the persistent rainy weather. The grain elevators in the region do not have enough drying capacity to meet the demand to dry soybeans and there are reports of trucks having to wait two days to unload at the grain elevators due to the lack of drying capacity. This is impacting the medium and smaller producers who do not have on-farm storage. Many of the larger producers have their own drying and storage facilities on-farm allowing them to continue harvesting their soybeans.

Grain elevator operators in the region are also reporting that their storage facilities are filling up quickly because there is a lack of trucks to transport the soybeans to local processors or to export facilities.

The director of Solar Agronegocios reported that his facility has not been able to ship out any soybeans for the last 7-10 days due to a lack of trucks in eastern Goias or in the surrounding regions. He indicated that if he doesn't start shipping soybeans within 10 days, his facility will be full. Normally, he fills up when the soybean harvest in his area is approximately 80% complete. This year, his facility could be full when the harvest is just 50% complete. If his facilities do fill up, one alternative might be the use of silo bags, but grain elevator operators do not like to use silo bags due to the additional cost.

An additional problem is that farmers have been slow sellers of their 2017/18 soybean production. They are willing to pay short term storage costs in the hope of obtaining a better rice for their soybeans.