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July 17, 2019

Soybean Harvest in Far Northern Brazil to Start within 30 Days

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

The state of Roraima is the state furthest north in Brazil and the growing season in the state is very different than in the rest of Brazil. Most of the state of Roraima is north of the Equator, so the growing season is similar to that of North America.

Farmers in the state plant their soybeans during April and May and they harvest during August and September. Currently the soybeans in the state are flowering and starting to set pods. The soybean harvest in the state should start between August 10th and August 15th and extend until mid-September.

The weather during the growing season has been beneficial and farmers are expecting soybean yields in the range of 50 sacks per hectare (44.4 bu/ac). Farmers in the state have forward contracted less than half of their anticipated soybean production because domestic soybean prices almost always improve in Brazil when the soybeans in Roraima are being harvested.

Soybean acreage in the state is still very small at approximately 40,000 hectares (98,800 acres), which equates to just 0.11% of Brazil's total soybean acreage, but it is expanding. The soybeans are grown in the vast areas of cerrado vegetation in the northeastern part of the state which borders on Venezuela and Guyana.

The cerrado or savanna vegetation in Roraima is very similar to what is found in central Brazil. Once agricultural limestone is applied to correct for the acid conditions and the levels of phosphorus and potassium are increased to acceptable levels, the cerrado acres of Roraima can become very productive and produce soybean yields similar to that of central Brazil.