Paraguay Poised to Harvest Record Large Safrinha Corn Crop
Farmers in Paraguay planted a record-large 2021/22 safrinha corn acreage and they are now poised to harvest a record-large corn crop. According to the vice-president of the Soybean, Oilseed, and Grain Producers Association of Paraguay (APS), the 2021/22 corn production in Paraguay could reach a record 6 million tons. The prior record was 5 million tons in 2018/19.
The safrinha corn was planted earlier-than-normal this year because a severe drought resulted in an early soybean harvest. Farmers started planting their safrinha corn by mid-January when the weather started to improve. Some of the soybeans were not even harvested due to ultra -low yields, which allowed early planting of the corn. The weather has been beneficial for the entire growing season with an average of 800 mm of rainfall (32 inches) from January through early June. The early planting also allowed the corn to mature ahead of any potential frosts.
The record large corn crop is causing logistical problems in Paraguay. The earlier harvested soybeans are barged down the Parana River to ports in Argentina and Uruguay, which is the usual export route for soybeans. Corn on the other hand, is mainly trucked across the border to neighboring Brazil and it must go through customs in only a few designated locations. There are expected to be long lines of trucks and extended wait times for the corn to clear customs before it can enter Brazil, where the corn is in high demand.
Some of the corn will be used to fulfill open contracts from last year because early freezes severely impacted the 2021/21 corn production. Most of the corn will be quickly sold after harvest to help farmers recuperate financially from a disastrous 2021/22 soybean crop, which was one of the worst crops in recent history.
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