November 20, 2015

Irregular Rainfall in Mato Grosso Worries Soybean Producers

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

Rainfall in Brazil's most important soybean producing state of Mato Grosso remains irregular forcing some farmers to consider replanting their soybeans due to inadequate germination and low plant populations. Parts of the state have gone up to 40 days without rain with the biggest concern being areas with sandy soils which have a lower water holding capacity.

Additional rainfall is forecasted for the state over the coming days, but the volume of rain could vary from 10 mm to 100 mm (0.4 inches to 4 inches). In the areas where the rainfall has been lacking, high temperatures in the upper 90's to low 100's have also accelerated the loss of soil moisture.

The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) indicated late last week that 84% of the soybeans in the state have been planted, but that is a little misleading because some of the soybeans have not germinated due to dry conditions. Imea indicated that half of the soybeans in the state were planted during the first half of November and that the important pod filling period for these soybeans will occur during January when adequate moisture is essential to achieve normal yields.

The driest part of the state is in the eastern areas where planting continues to be delayed by dry conditions. This is also the area where a lot of the replanting will occur. Farmers in the region are concerned that the replanted soybeans will not yield as well compared to soybeans planted at the normal time. Additionally, there could still be periods of dry weather later in the growing season that could further impact yields. This delay in soybean planting could also delay the planting of the second crop of cotton and corn as well.

Farmers in the state have aggressively forward contracted not only their anticipated soybean production, but also their anticipated second crop of corn due to relatively good domestic prices resulting from the devaluation of the Brazilian currency. Some farmers are now concerned that if conditions don't improve they may have a difficult time fulfilling those contracts.

With the vast majority of the soybeans now planted, Imea is estimating that 68% of the soybeans in Mato Grosso will be harvested by the end of February.