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Excessive Mato Grosso rains harm crop quality

Courtesy of Julio Bravo drought-stricken soybean fields in Brazil
Poor quality harvest may lead to soybean seed shortage for Brazilian farmers.

Crazy weather in Brazil has hurt production from north to south, and these weather impacts could have longer lasting impacts than just yield shortages. Excessive rains during harvest in Mato Grosso are resulting in poor soybean quality, leading to the risk of not having enough seed for planting next season.

Soybeans are being harvested with a high level of weather damage and green kernels, making the grain not suitable for seed as they don’t meet the required standards of germination and vigor. To compensate for potential seed shortage, multipliers are looking to increase the planted area in the state of Tocantins to produce during the off season.

Coamo, the biggest ag cooperative in Brazil, predicts receiving 132 million bushels of soybean (3.6 million tons) in 2021/2022, a drop of 40% compared to early expectations prior to the drought. Company headquarters are located in the west of Paraná state, and that area was severely affected by dry conditions. Entire fields have been lost.

Despite the poor harvest, it may still be a positive year when it comes to farm revenue, as high prices are making up for lower yields. From 24 USD (130 reais) last year, a sack (2.2 bushels) of soybean is now selling for 35 USD (188 reais) – an increase of over 40%. The farmer will harvest less, but will sell for more.

Insurance coverage

A lot of farmers are already in contact with their insurance agents, since they are harvesting far below what was expected. Some of them are even harvesting only enough crop to activate the insurance policy, since in some cases it is not worth harvesting the entire area.

Tocantins map of Brazil regions

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.

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