South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Monday 12/02/13

Brazilian Soy Planting Advances 10 Points

Brazil's soybean planting moved forward 10 percentage points this past week following generous rains in the northeast and is now nearing conclusion.

Farmers had planted 89% of the projected 2013-14 soybean area as of Friday, Nov. 29, in line with the five-year average for this stage of the season, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy.

With ample rains registered across most of Brazil's vast grain belt, the crop is looking in excellent shape. The precipitation has also aided in the control of the corn earworm, or Helicoverpa armigera, which farmers fear will be such a threat this season.

As a result, AgRural raised its forecast for the 2013-14 crop to 89.4 million metric tons (mmt) from an October figure of 88.7 mmt. The new estimate pegs output 10% higher than last season.

The big news from last week was that forecast heavy rains actually did materialize in the northeastern soy states, alleviating dry conditions that were causing increasing concern and allowing planting to move forward.

As a result, soybean planting jumped from 26% to 75% complete over the last week in Bahia, the principle producing state in the region. In neighboring Piaui state, planting jumped a more modestly, from 30% to 44% complete.

In Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state, abundant showers also created excellent planting conditions, allowing field work to move forward 23 percentage points to 77%. The crop in Brazil's No. 3 soy state is in excellent condition.

In Mato Grosso, the No. 1 state where planting is 99% done, rains in the south and east of the state largely resolved any soil moisture deficit issues, and the crop is developing well.

In Parana, where the crop is 93% planted, the crop is also in good shape, said AgRural. Caterpillar populations have been high, but chemical controls have been effective.

Rainfall is expected to continue over the next week in the agricultural south country.

According to Somar Meteorologia, showers on Monday will be followed by heavy rains on Thursday and Friday as a new cold front enters the region.

Precipitation will also return to the northeast during the second half of this week, Somar says.

Mato Grosso and the rest of the center-west are due for, by their standards, modest showers over the next week.

Alastair Stewart can be reached at


Posted at 9:19AM CST 12/02/13 by Alastair Stewart
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