South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Friday 03/07/14

Weather Woes Also Hit Brazil's Second-Crop Corn

International markets have reacted to the damage caused by adverse weather to Brazil's soybean crop in February. But the country's second-crop corn has also suffered.

Excessively wet conditions in Mato Grosso and dryness in Parana have combined to make it a difficult start to the season.

Planting is significantly delayed in Mato Grosso, which accounts for nearly 45% of the second crop, and farmers are now sowing seeds outside the recommended window.

As of last Friday, 66% of the forecast Mato Grosso corn crop had been planted compared with 88% last year, according to Safras e Mercado, a local farm consultancy.

Meanwhile, the corn that is in the field has suffered amid the deluges and flooding.

Nine municipalities in Mato Grosso have declared a state of emergency because of the rains.

"In areas where the crop is flooded, there is a lot of replanting," said Laercio Lenz, president of the farm association in Sorriso, Mato Grosso's biggest grain region.

Planting is also delayed in western Parana due to a lack rain in the first half of February. As of last Friday, the state had planted 47% of the crop compared with 57% last year.

The problems could mean planted area ends up being smaller than the 18.2 million acres currently forecast, says Safras, which would be a frustration at a time when international corn prices have recovered and local prices are supported by losses to the first, summer crop.

Safras forecasts Brazil will produce 71 million metric tons (mmt) of corn in 2013-14, down 13% on the year before, with 40.7 mmt produced from the second crop. Exports are pegged in the region of 20 mmt.

Brazil plants second-crop corn directly after soybeans in a succession that has grown exponentially over the last decade. By double cropping, farmers can dilute costs even if margins don't look amazing this year.

(AG)

Posted at 3:46PM CST 03/07/14 by Alastair Stewart
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