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June 7, 2021

Corn Production in Paraguay Impacted by Dry Weather

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

Paraguay is the third largest grain producer in South America with most of the row crop production in the eastern and southeastern region of the country. That part of Paraguay has a climate and soils similar to western Parana, which is right across the Parana River.

The crop production in eastern Paraguay is usually highly productive, if the weather cooperates, but unfortunately, the 2020/21 crop production was disappointing due to dry weather at the start and at the end of the growing season.

Approximately 70% of the corn was planted after the ideal planting window had closed with 30% planted during the second half of March. The weather during June will be critical in determining the final corn yield in Paraguay since much of the crop is in the grain filling stage.

The Director of the consulting firm DASAGRO estimates that corn yields in Paraguay will be down 9%. She indicated that the corn yield potential in Paraguay is usually in the range of 91 to 100 sacks per hectare (86 to 95 bu/ac) but approximately 60% of the corn will yield 83 to 91 sacks per hectare (79 to 87 bu/ac) with 40% yielding 63 to 66 sacks per hectare (60 to 63 bu/ac).

The Director of the Agriculture and Livestock Biotechnology Institute (INBIO) in a recent interview indicated that farmers in eastern Paraguay took advantage of improved prices to increase their acreage of soybeans, corn, and rice. In fact, the price paid for soybeans in eastern Paraguay this growing season hit a seven year high.

Soybean acreage in eastern Paraguay totaled 3,701,000 hectares in 2020/21 (9.14 million acres), which was up 64,120 hectares (158,375 acres) or 6% compared to the prior year. The corn acreage was 34,859 hectares (86,100 acres), which was up 6,695 hectares (16,536 acres) or 19% compared to the prior year. The rice acreage was 162,328 hectares (400,950 acres), which was up 21,676 hectares (53,539 acres) or 13% compared to the prior year.

The two largest departments for soybean production in eastern Paraguay are Alto Parana with 957,323 hectares (2.36 million acres) and Itapua with 746,660 hectares (1.82 million acres).