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April 16, 2021

Rating of Safrinha Corn in Parana Declines due to Dry Conditions

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

In their latest assessment of the safrinha corn crop in the state of Parana, the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) lowered their 2020/21 corn production estimate for the state due to delayed planting of the safrinha corn and dry weather. The safrinha corn was planted later than normal due to the delayed soybean harvest. The longest delays were in the western part of the state where 30-40% of the corn was planted after the ideal planting window had closed.

The planting delays alone led Deral to lower the corn production estimate from their initial 14 million tons to 13.4 million and they indicated that more reductions are possible in the future. The state of Parana is the second leading safrinha corn producing state in Brazil accounting for approximately 16% of the total safrinha corn production. Mato Grosso is the leading state accounting for approximately 44% of the total production.

Deral also lowered their rating for the crop in their latest weekly report. As of earlier this week, the 2020/21 safrinha corn was rated 3% poor, 21% average, and 76% good. The percentage of the crop rated good compares to 92% the previous week. The crop development is 3% germinating, 86% in vegetative development, 9% pollinating, and 2% filling grain.

A lack of rainfall over the last several weeks has led to the development of moisture stresses. The corn development has already been impacted and significant rains will be needed within the next 10 days for the crop to normalize. The later planted corn will need rain through the month of June to achieve normal yields, but unfortunately, the forecast for May and June is for below normal rainfall.

In addition to dry conditions, farmers in Parana are concerned about increased pest pressures especially from corn leafhoppers (Dalbulus maidis), which is a new pest in the region and has been a particular problem in south-central Brazil this growing season. Corn leafhoppers can transmit the MRFV virus which can cause stunting and premature wilting of corn plants resulting in significant yield losses. It was already a concern for the full-season corn and now it's a concern for the safrinha corn.