South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Monday 02/03/14

Brazil's Soy Crop Looks Good; Heat Wave Causes Concern

Brazil's soybean harvest continues to progress smoothly, registering good yields across the country.

However, forecasts of hot, dry conditions for February are raising concerns in regions that planted later, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy.

Dry conditions could affect Rio Grande do Sul, where rain forecast for the weekend did not materialize and came in the form of isolated showers. With most of the crop in Brazil's southernmost state in the flowering or pod-filling stages, the lack of precipitation on the charts for the next week is worrying, said AgRural.

Another area at risk is Campos Gerais, in the south of neighboring Parana state, where crops are also planted later.

Finally, the northeastern states, which suffered drought losses last year, have also suffered from inconsistent rains since mid-December and further dry weather is forecast for the next week.

But any losses will be offset by the crop's performance in Mato Grosso and western Parana, which are registering good early season yields. Mato Grosso and Parana accounts for 40% of the crop.

High yields registered during the first leg of the Rally da Safra crop tour in Mato Grosso prompted Agroconsult Director Andre Pessoa to declare last week that the No. 1 state's output will guarantee Brazil produces 90 million metric tons in 2013-14.

Rains hindered harvesting efforts in Mato Grosso last week, and will continue to do so in February, according to local forecasts.

However, fieldwork remains on schedule in the state with the crop 13% collected as of Friday, according to AgRural

Average yields are around 46 bushels per acre across the state, reaching 51 bpa in the north.

In neighboring Goias, the No. 4 soy state, yields are much more varied after dry weather in the southeast during December and January, said AgRural. Yields of between 35 bpa and 53 bpa are being recorded in Rio Verde and Jatai.

In Parana, the crop is in good condition and registering high yields with the exception of parts of the north.

Across Brazil, the crop was 6% harvested as of Friday, said AgRural.

(AG)

Posted at 8:28AM CST 02/03/14 by Alastair Stewart
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