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Big Brazilian crop, despite weather issuesBig Brazilian crop, despite weather issues

Depending on where you are in South America, the 2016-17 soybean harvest is looking pretty good.

James Thompson

January 10, 2017

1 Min Read

Harvest has begun in northern Mato Grosso state, with producers relieved at seeing yields of 53.4 bushels per acre on those earliest of beans, where it had been closer to 48 last year.

Depending on where you are in South America, the 2016-17 soybean harvest is looking pretty good. So good that at least one consultancy bumped up its estimate for current Brazilian bean production to 103.1 million tons, from the previous 101.8 million tons.

It’s not looking that rosy locally, though, in Brazil’s Northeast or South, nor certainly in Argentina. Producer Jose Edigar Andrade, from the northern corner of Tocantins state, says, “It’s been ten days without rain, and nearly all farmers have beans in the pod-fill stage.”

Wet farther south

Meanwhile, some 1,700 miles south of there, sheep farmer Marcelo Cerutti, who rents a thousand acres or so to a bean-producing neighbor, says “the rains won’t let up at all. This year we’ve had only two days with no rain.”

At least, he says, the crops are still looking good.

Even farther South, farmers around the city of Santa Fe had “intense” hail to deal with over the weekend.

One regional producer told a local reporter that a total of 59 inches of rain fell there over 2016. But in just the past four weeks, he and his neighbors have suffered 13¾ to 17¾ inches. Though he might normally plant 2,500 or so acres in normal times, he’s only gotten 160 acres of beans in the ground so far, and just 32 acres of corn.

If the rains don’t let up by January 20 or so, it’s unlikely farmers in the area will be able to finish planting.

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

About the Author(s)

James Thompson


James Thompson grew up on farms in Illinois and Tennessee and got his start in Ag communications when he won honorable mention in a 4-H speech contest. He graduated from University of Illinois and moved to Tocantins, Brazil and began farming. Over his career he has written several articles on South American agriculture for a number of publications around the world. He also edits www.cropspotters.com, a site focusing on Brazilian agriculture.

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