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February 5, 2021

Early Soybean Yields in Mato Grosso Continue to be Variable

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

Brazilian farmers in the municipality of Sorriso, which is located in central Mato Grosso, have harvested approximately 10% of their 2020/21 soybeans. Sorriso is the largest soybean municipality in Brazil responsible for more than 600,000 hectares of soybeans (1.48 million acres).

The President of the Rural Syndicate of Sorriso estimates the average yield thus far at 60 sacks per hectare (53.6 bu/ac), which he considers positive given the irregular weather during the first few months of the growing season. The early yields range from 37 sacks per hectare to 74 sacks (30.3 bu/ac to 66.1 bu/ac).

The municipality of Sorriso is also the site of a mysterious new soybean disease. The disease results in individual rotted seeds inside of full-sized green pods. The disease was first spotted in 2018 and it seems to be spreading, but scientists are not sure how widespread it has become. They have also not yet identified the cause of the disease or a fungicide that will control it.

In the municipality of Campos de Julio, which is located in western Mato Grosso, farmers have harvested 15% to 20% of their soybeans compared to 30% to 40% which is normal for this time of the year.

These early soybeans were the ones most impacted by dry weather in October and November. As a result, the yields are quite variable ranging from 40 sacks per hectare to 70 sacks (35.7 bu/ac to 62.5 bu/ac). Farmers are expecting higher yields when the harvest moves into the later maturing soybeans.

The current price of soybeans in the state is approximately R$ 150 per sack (approximately $12.85 per bushel), but most farmers in the state had forward contracted more than half of the anticipated soybean production at much lower prices.