WASHINGTON — Planting of the 2018/2019 soybean crop in Brazil continues to advance at a record fast pace. Through mid-November, about 82 percent of the intended crop had been planted, up from 73 percent last year and a 5-year average of 67 percent. Since September, when early planting began, the weather has been mostly favorable for planting, germination and development of the crop. As is common, state-by-state progress varies. In the state of Mato Grosso, where the largest percentage of soybeans are produced, planting is essentially complete already. With their fast pace this year, planting completed about two weeks ahead of normal and completely within the state’s ideal planting window. This will also allow harvest of the crop to begin somewhat earlier than normal, and in turn allow for earlier planting of the safrinha corn crop.
Several other states, including Mato Grosso do Sul and Sao Paulo, are also essentially complete with planting soybeans. Northeastern Brazil is working to wrap up planting and the southern state of Parana is nearly 90 percent complete as well. Soybean planting in Parana got off to a record fast start this season, but some rather persistent rains during October slowed momentum a bit. Despite the minor rain delay, progress is still ahead of normal and expected to be complete within the ideal planting window. For the crop in Parana, about 98 percent of the crop has been said to be in good condition. The next seven days are forecast to be wetter than normal for much of northeastern and eastern Brazil, with more mixed precipitation trends expected in central and southern Brazil.
Harvest of the earliest planted beans could begin as early as just before Christmas this year. If this occurs, the record-breaking would continue as it would be the earliest beginning to soybean harvest in Brazil’s history. Conditions during the latter half of December in Brazil are forecast to be generally a bit drier than normal in Mato Grosso, wetter than normal in eastern Brazil and near normal for southern Brazil. The drier trends in Mato Grosso would be very favorable for early harvest efforts. January in Brazil as a whole is forecast to be wetter than normal in the East, slightly drier than normal in parts of Sao Paulo, eastern Parana and southern Mato Grosso, while the remainder of the growing region trends closer to normal.
While Brazil’s soybean crop is benefitting from favorable weather so far this season, the same cannot be said for Argentina. Planting of soybeans in Argentina, which begins later than Brazil, is currently about 22 percent complete and trailing average pace by about 2 points. Drier than normal conditions, late frosts and then recent heavy rain/flooding for some have all been headwinds for soybean planting this year. Areas that were dealt flooding rains had to push pause on planting to allow their fields to dry out, and some fields may even need to be replanted. Similar to Brazil, progress varied throughout the country. Central Argentina is nearly halfway completed with planting, southern Argentina is less than a quarter complete, and no progress has been made in far northern Argentina yet. Over the next couple weeks, rainfall in the country is expected to trend on the drier side, which should assist in drying fields and progressing with planting.
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