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May 1, 2018

Safrinha Corn in Southern Brazil being impacted by Dry Weather

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

The forecasters keep taking rain out of the forecast for central and southern Brazil and now they are calling for the potential for rain in Parana starting maybe this coming weekend. If that turns out to be the case, there are some areas of Parana that might stay dry for 4-5 weeks before the next chance of rain. Temperatures had been cool in Parana for the last several weeks, so that helped to conserve soil moisture, but the temperatures are now more elevated.

The weather in Brazil has definitely turned dryer and the forecast looks generally dry as well. This is a particular concern for southern Brazil where it has already been dry for up to four weeks and it is a developing concern in central Brazil where it has been getting dryer in recent weeks. The forecast had been calling for improved rain chances in southern Brazil for this week, but that is no longer the case. Now they are saying that it may not rain for another 7 days or longer in some areas.

The safrinha corn crop in Brazil is always a risky proposition and it looks like the crop may be vulnerable to adverse weather this year.

The safrinha corn in central and western Mato Grosso looks good due to good moisture during March and April. The corn in these regions of Mato Grosso is in mid-grain fill and there is probably adequate soil moisture to finish off the crop. The corn in eastern and southern Mato Grosso is not as good and the soil moisture is also not as good. Mato Grosso accounts for approximately 42% of Brazil's safrinha corn production.

The problem for the safrinha corn is in southern Brazil, especially Parana and southern Mato Gross do Sul. In western Parana it has not rained in about four weeks and the corn in that part of the state is 70% pollinating. It is not quite as dry in northern Parana and the corn was planted later in northern Parana, so it has not yet reached 50% pollination in northern Parana.

The concern is mounting for the safrinha corn in Parana, which accounts for approximately 18% of Brazil's safrinha corn production. The majority of the corn in Parana is not far enough along in its development to accurately assess its yield potential. The safrinha corn in Parana was planted later than usual this year and the crop is currently in the midst of pollination.

The situation for the safrinha corn in southern Mato Grosso do Sul, which accounts for about 10% of Brazil's production, is very similar to that of western Parana. The concern is especially high for areas where the soils are sandier and have a lower water holding capacity.

The weather has also turned dryer in the states of Goias, Minas Gerais, and Sao Paulo and these states collectively account for approximately 18% of Brazil safrinha corn production.

I would roughly estimate that 40% of Brazil's safrinha corn is rated good to excellent, 30% is rated fair to good, and 20% rated average to poor. I would also estimate that approximately 40% of the safrinha corn is in varying stages of needing a rain.