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Dry Spell Delays Brazil Soy Planting, Spoils Second Corn Outlook

A lack of rainfall in Brazil’s top grain state Mato Grosso has delayed soybean planting by up to 30 days and is compromising the outlook for second corn, which is cultivated after the oilseed is harvested and represents around two-thirds of national production, farmers said.

In comments sent to Reuters by state farmer group Aprosoja-MT on Friday, soybean growers also noted dry weather forced replanting on some areas, curtailing soy’s yield potential in the world’s largest exporter of the commodity.

Gilberto Peretti, in Mato Grosso’s Gaucha do Norte, planted his soy almost 30 days later than last season. He said he has sown just over 100 hectares (247 acres), but will have to replant 30%.

“There will be a big drop in output… Replanting is never the same (for yield),” he said. Referring to second corn, Peretti dismissed planting it this season due to climate risk. “It’s too late.”

Oleonir Favarin, a farmer in Santo Antonio do Leste, said that soy planting is around 20 days behind from the previous cycle. He has already replanted 120 hectares out of 300 sowed before the rains stopped.

“After I did the last planting, we went 20 days without rain,” Favarin said, noting he will cultivate only 30% of his normal second corn area.

Leonardo Marasca, an agronomist, said his group had already planted almost 5,200 hectares (12,849 acres) on two soy farms by this time last year, compared with nothing so far in 2023, which led his bosses to suspend second corn planting.

“The seed orders were canceled,” Marasca said.

On Thursday, Brazil’s crop agency Conab rose soybean output forecast to 162.420 million tons for 2023/24 despite climate concerns, making farmers skeptical.

Grower Antonio Galvan said Brazil could “raise its hands to the sky” if it matches last year’s soy production of 154.6 million tons, as estimated by Conab.

In Sorriso, the world’s soybean capital, grower Ronan Poletto delayed planting by an average of 12 days due to irregular rains. He projects a 12%-15% soybean production drop from a five-year average.

“This year, if we get 55 bags of soybeans per hectare on average, it would be a historic feat. Last year we got 64.”

Source: Nasdaq