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December 2, 2020

2020/21 Brazil Full-Season Corn Impacted by Dry Weather

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

AgRural reported that 94% of the full-season corn has been planted compared to 91% last year. Dry weather in southern Brazil resulted in slower than normal planting of the full-season corn. In their Agricultural Monitoring Bulletin for the first half of November, Conab indicated that there will be yield losses for the full-season corn in southern Brazil, but that it was too early to quantify the extent of the losses.

Parana Full-Season Corn - The Department of Rural Economics (Deral) reported earlier last week that 100% of the full-season corn in the state had been planted. This is the latest end to the corn planting since the 2015/16 growing season. The corn was 1% germinating, 76% in vegetative development, 17% pollinating, and 6% filling grain. The crop was rated 4% poor, 20% average, and 76% good. The percentage of the crop rated good was up 5% from the prior week.

The safrinha corn crop in Parana is going to be planted very late making the crop more vulnerable to freezing temperatures before the crop has time to mature. Deral estimated the 2020/21 safrinha corn production in Parana last week at 11.66 million tons, which would be down 12% compared to last year.

Late last week, Deral estimated the 2020/21 full-season corn production in Parana at 3.39 million tons compared to 3.46 million tons in October and 3.56 million tons last year. This would represent a decline of 4% compared to last year.

Rio Grande do Sul Full-Season Corn - After weeks of dry weather (some areas had not received substantial rain in over 30 days), the state did receive some rain late last week and over the weekend with most areas registering 1-2 inches of precipitation. Emater announced last week that the full-season corn in the state was 85% planted compared to 85% last year and 82% average. This represented an advance of only 1% from the prior week. The full-season corn in the state was 51% germinating or in vegetative development, 28% pollinating, and 21% filling grain. The extended dry weather is expected to result in corn yield losses of 40% to 50% in the northern and northwestern regions of the state.

Conab indicated that they expect lower yields for the full-season corn, but they did not indicate the extent of the losses. About 15% of the corn in the state is irrigated and they feel those yields will be down as well due to unequal distribution of the soil moisture and high levels of evaporation due to the high temperatures and low relative humidity. Spot corn prices in the state last week averaged R$ 79.90 per sack (approximately $6.85 per bushel).

Santa Catarina Full-Season Corn - The drought in Santa Catarina is considered the worst in 15 years with yearly rainfall deficits in the state as high as 900 mm (36 inches). The full-season corn and corn silage has been the crop most impacted by the dry conditions. The state did receive rain over the weekend which will help to start recharging the depleted soil moisture.

Losses for the corn varies depending on when the crop was planted and it ranges from 20% to 100%. In the hardest hit areas, farmers are commenting that it is the worst they have ever seen. The meteorologists for the state of Santa Catarina indicated that help is on the way in the form of increased rainfall especially during the second half of December. The heavier rainfall amounts are forecasted to continue into January and February. If the forecast verifies, it will help the later planted corn and soybeans.

A sack of corn last January in Santa Catarina sold for R$ 35.00 per sack (approximately $3.00 per bushel) and now it is up to R$ 87.00 per sack (approximately $7.45 per bushel). A ton of soybean meal sold for R$ 900 in January (approximately $170) and now it is selling for R$ 2,880 (approximately $530).

Other Full-Season Corn States - The full-season corn in the state of Minas Gerais was 75% planted and the soil moisture was OK. In Sao Paulo the corn was 55% planted and the conditions are dry. In Goias the corn was 40% planted and the soil moisture was good. In Bahia, the corn was 11% planted and the soil moisture was good.