Extended rain to favor Brazil’s second-crop corn yields


Recent rains and forecasts for more wet weather across Brazil’s grain belt are likely to improve yields from the country’s second corn crop, which is behind schedule for planting this season.

Brazil’s main summer soybean crop is about a month behind schedule because of the late arrival of spring rains that delayed the start of the planting season until almost the end of October over most of the main center-west growing areas, agronomist Enilson Nogueira at analysts Celeres told Agricensus.

Brazil’s tropical growing seasons enable farmers to plant at least two crops back-to-back but the window for sowing the second, which is principally corn in the center-west states, typically closes at the end of March.

It is then that Brazil’s rainy season shifts into the dry season until September at least, making planting beyond the window risky.

More rain improves safrinha yield prospects

Agricultural meteorologist Marco Antonio dos Santos at Rural Clima said in his latest forecast, however, that rains would likely last until at least mid-April over the center-west.

“The extended forecast is for good rains over Mato Grosso, Roraima, Goias and the whole Matopiba region through the first half of April,” he said.

“And if somehow rains miss some areas, they are expected to return to the region in May.”

Nogueira said the moist weather that has been causing problems for the soybean harvest, combined with this forecast for more rains to come would likely make for excellent yields from the second corn crop that producers are currently planting, as well as calm some farmers’ concerns over planting later in the window.

Brazil is forecast to produce a smaller winter corn crop this season of 63.3 million mt, down from a record 67.2 million mt harvested last year, the government’s crop supply agency Conab said in its February forecast.

The smaller summer corn crop, which is harvesting now along with the soy crop, is forecast at 24.7 million mt, down slightly from 25.2 million mt harvested last year. Conab is due to release its next grain forecast on March 8.

Yields are projected at 5.53 mt/hectare for the second-crop corn, only slightly down from last season’s record harvest, with most of the decline in output for the second crop expected to come from the reduced planted area this year, Conab said.

Corn area is set to fall to 11.4 million hectares, down from 12.1 million ha last year.

Asked if the forecast for later rains could prompt farmers to plant more corn than previously expected, Nogueira said there would be obstacles such as access to crop financing which requires producers to plant within a required window depending on their region, but he did not rule out the possibility of area for second crop corn being revised upward in the coming months.


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