South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Monday 02/18/13

Brazil's Soy Harvest Accelerates As Cerrado Rains Ease

Rains eased during last week's Carnival celebrations in Brazil's center-west, pleasing not only revelers but also soybean farmers, who have struggled to harvest amid very damp conditions over the last month.

The improved conditions allowed farmers to accelerate fieldwork.

In Mato Grosso, the No. 1 soybean state, harvesting moved forward nine percentage point to 28% complete, while in neighboring Goias, the No. 4 state, progress of 12 percentage points was made to 19%, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy in its weekly report.

Despite the advance, harvesting efforts remain six percentage points behind five-year averages in Mato Grosso and nine points back in Goias.

As I spoke about in a blog last week, the rain has caused a lot of soybeans to be spoiled or delivered with excessive humidity, especially in southern Mato Grosso. In isolated cases, soybean fields have had to be abandoned because of the volume of rain.

Down south, Parana, the No. 2 soy state, continues to harvest well with 22% collected against 18% last week and a five-year average of 13%. Dry weather in January may have reduced yields in some areas but, generally, the crop looks in good shape, aided by ample rainfall across most producing areas this last week, said AgRural.

Harvesting has yet to start in Rio Grande do Sul, the No. 4 state. As such, after an extremely dry January, farmers met the showers that fell last week with considerable enthusiasm. Further rains forecast this week will guarantee decent, but not spectacular, yields, said AgRural.

For Brazil as a whole, the harvest is now 15% complete, up from 10% last week and 17% last year, said the consultancy.

Brazil is expected to produce a crop of between 81 and 85 million metric tons (mmt), up from 66 mmt last year.

Alastair Stewart can be reached at alastair.stewart@telventdtn.com

(CZ)

Posted at 9:08AM CST 02/18/13 by Alastair Stewart
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