2023/24 Brazil Soybeans 61% Planted, Slowed by Dry Conditions
The hot and dry conditions in much of central Brazil is slowing the soybean planting, slowing the soybean development, and resulting in soybeans that need to be replanted. Even if the weather cooperated for the remainder of the growing season, the late planted soybeans run the risk of lower yields. The forecast is calling for more erratic weather going forward and if that turns out to be the case, the Brazilian soybean production could move lower.
Over the past 10-15 days, some areas of central and northeastern Brazil have received only 20% of their normal rainfall accompanied by extreme temperatures. In contrast, some areas of southern Brazil have received 200% to 300% their normal rainfall. In both cases, the weather has been detrimental for the early soybean crop. Dry conditions are a major concern in parts of Mato Grosso, Goias, northern Mato Grosso do Sul, and MATOPIBA (Maranhao, Tocantins, Piaui, and Bahia). Wet conditions are a concern in southern Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul.
The Brazilian soybeans were 61.2% planted as of late last week compared to 73.4% last year and 70.6% average according to Patrita AgroNegocios. This represents an advance of 10% for the week. Hot and dry conditions in east-central and northeastern Brazil is slowing the planting pace, whereas in southern Brazil, wet conditions are slowing the soybean planting there as well.
Additionally, some of the earlier planted soybeans will need to be replanted. Nationwide, 5% or more of the soybeans will need to be replanted with as much as 10% or more in localized areas. Farmers will not risk replanting their soybeans “in the dust”, so they will wait for additional rainfall before replanting, which could impact the potential soybean yields and delay safrinha corn planting even more. There will be some additional soybeans replanted in southern Brazil as well due to the saturated conditions.
Most farmers will replant their soybeans once the rainfall returns, but some farmers who had intended to plant safrinha cotton, may forgo replanting the soybeans and plant their cotton instead. The president of Aprosoja Brazil stated that this year will have a record amount of soybean replanted and that the safrinha corn has already been compromised. He was surprised that Conab increased their soybean estimate due to a 110,000 hectare increase in the soybean acreage. He does not think the 2023/24 Brazil soybean estimate will surpass 155.0 million tons.
The soybeans in Mato Grosso were 91.8% planted late last week compared to 95.5% last year and 96.1% average. This represents an increase of 8.5% for the week. The slowest planting is in the northeastern region where 79% of the soybeans have been planted and the southeast region where 85% have been planted. Some fields in the state went 20-30 days without rain after planting with high temperatures and now need to be replanted. As much as 10% of the soybeans in the state may need to be replanted with the highest percentage in the eastern part of the state. Replanted soybeans almost never yield as good as the original soybeans.
Farmers will probably wait until they receive additional rainfall before they risk planting their remaining soybeans or do any replanting, which will delay the soybeans even more. The latest planted soybeans could see yield reductions of 12-15% and of course, planting safrinha corn after late-planted soybeans would be very risky. In the municipality of Sorriso in central Mato Grosso, the soybeans were planted 12-15 days later than last year and yields are expected to be in the range of 55 sacks per hectare (49 bu/ac) compared to 64 sacks last year (57 bu/ac).
Below is the soybean planting progress (red line) from the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea).
Soybeans in Parana were 86% planted as of late last week compared to 87% average. A few dry days last week allowed farmers to get back into the fields. The soybeans are rated 4% poor, 9% average, and 89% good. The percentage of the crop rated good is down 3% from the prior week.
Wet conditions across the state Rio Grande do Sul continued to slow soybean planting and there is more rain forecasted for this week. As of late last week, the soybeans were 14% planted compared to 25% average. In the municipality of Santo Angelo in northwestern Rio Grande do Sul, the soybeans are 8-10% planted compared to 25-30% average. During a few dry days last week, farmers planted non-stop, but now more rain has moved into the state once again.
The weather in Goias is similar to that of the rest of central Brazil and the soybeans were 63% planted as of last week compared to 74% average. Farmers have indicated that some of the soybeans will need to be replanted.
Recent rain in southern Mato Grosso do Sul have helped soybean development. The driest part of the state is the northern region. Soybeans in the state were 79% planted late last week compared to 86% average.
Hot and dry conditions in northeastern Brazil continue to slow the soybean planting. In Bahia, the soybeans were 19% planted (47% average), Tocantins was 25% (50% average), Maranhao was 11% (31% average), and Piaui was 4% (36% average).
There is a wide range of estimates for the 2023/24 Brazilian soybean production. Agrinvest lowered their Brazilian soybean estimate from 162.0 million tons to 155.4 million. AgResource Brasil lowered their soybean estimate to 156.0 million tons compared to 159.5 million in October. Conab is estimating the Brazilian soybean crop at 162.4 million tons and the USDA is estimating the crop at 163.0 million. StoneX is estimating the crop at 165.0 million tons.
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