Brazil soy planting on pace despite dryness

01 October 2013

Brazil soy
Brazil soy

SAO PAULO: Planting of an expected record crop in Brazil’s top soy state of Mato Grosso had reached 0.8 percent of expected output as of Friday, a pace considered normal for this time of year, despite lower than average rains in September.

Farmers are still a bit behind last season, however, when 1.7 percent of the crop had been sowed by Sept. 27, the state’s farm and ranch federation Famato said on Monday.

Planting so far has mostly been in areas with irrigation, as farmers wait for rains to pick up in the next few weeks, said Nelson Luiz Piccoli, a director at Famato.

“In the last two years, there were early rains. This year seems to be a bit behind schedule, but really we are within the historical average,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Parts of Mato Grosso have received rains that are 80 percent less than the historical average for September, according to local meteorologists Somar. Light rains are expected for the next week, but never more than 4 millimeters per day, according to a daily weather bulletin from Somar.

“From now until the 10th, when rainfall should be more than 30 mm, producers will be ready and able to plant,” Piccoli said.

Mato Grosso is expected to produce nearly 30 percent of the 86 million tonnes of soybeans the national vegetable oil’s association, Abiove, on Monday forecast from Brazil this season.

Waiting to plant until October does not necessarily affect the size of the crop, but it gives farmers less time to prepare a second crop, usually of corn, after soybeans are harvested.

A record second corn crop in Mato Grosso last season pushed local prices down, making corn potentially less profitable this season anyway.

“Producers have a great desire to plant the same area (with corn) and even increase it, but the problem is the price. We will still have large volumes of the old crop in January and February,” Piccoli added. Courtesy Reuters

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