November 2, 2016

Early Soy Planting Allows Early Safrinha Corn Planting in Parana

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

Farmers in western Parana are very hopeful that they will harvest a record large soybean crop and still be able to plant a second crop of corn during the ideal planting window. The 2016/17 soybean crop in the state as a whole is approximately 65% planted, but in the western, northwestern, and northern part of the state, the soybean crop is essentially completely planted. The state of Parana is the second largest soybean and safrinha corn producing state in Brazil.

Since the soybeans in western and northern Parana were planted early, farmers in the region already know when they will be able to plant their safrinha corn. All the soybeans that will be followed by a second crop of corn have already been planted, which means that the safrinha corn will be planted by the end of January or early February, which is the ideal time for the safrinha corn. This region of the state is responsible for more than half of the soybeans produced in the state and the vast majority of the safrinha corn production.

The soybean planting in the state was concentrated this year in a narrow window, which means the critical pod filling period for the soybeans will also be concentrated as well. The critical pod filling period for the soybeans in western Parana will be from the last week in November to the last week in December. Adequate rainfall and abundant soil moisture during that period will be critical for the crop.

Brazilian meteorologists are forecasting irregular rains in the state during that period due to a weak La Nina. They are not ruling out a period of dry weather during either December of January, but the timing and the length of the dry weather is uncertain. They are warning farmers that the weather this growing season will probably not be as favorable as it has been for the last several years.

The weather in eastern Parana has not been as favorable due to cold temperatures in September and October, which slowed down the harvesting of the winter small grains and subsequently the soybean planting. The soybeans in eastern Parana are approximately 30% planted and that region of the state is responsible for approximately 20% of the state's soybean production. Soybean planting in the region should conclude at the end of November.

Since soybean planting is eastern Parana is later than in western Parana, instead of planting a second crop of corn, many farmers in the region plant a second crop of dry beans instead. The colder climate in the region doesn't allow for a second crop of corn, but it does allow for the shorter cycle of dry bean production.