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North-Central Brazil rains hurt soybean qualityNorth-Central Brazil rains hurt soybean quality

With soy harvest one-fourth complete, Mato Grosso farmers struggle with heavy dockage.

James Thompson

February 16, 2018

2 Min Read

Brazil’s famous Carnival—a blown-up version of Mardi Gras—is finally over, though rain dampened a good number of the small-town parties across the countryside in places like Mato Grosso. Those rains have also hampered soybean harvest progress in the state responsible for about one of every three rows of beans in that country. The latest progress report has Mato Grosso’s harvest about 28% done.

As I wrote in last week’s blog, untimely La Nina rains have kept combines out of fields, slowing both the bean harvest and the planting of second-crop corn.

High moisture problems

What’s more, the beans that are getting delivered are coming in at high moisture levels, and need to be dried down. Some beans are being delivered at up to 40% moisture, when the standard is usually more like 14% at most.

“We’ve been waiting for the sun to come out,” one area producer told a reporter. “Right now, we have to measure the size of the losses, see what will be left in the field to rot, and how much we’ll be able to save.”

And that’s from a producer with his own drier, drying down 100 tonnes of beans per hour, working two shifts a day. Other producers must swallow the dockage and let the processor dry the beans down in wood-fired driers. And, as the producer pointed out, they end up paying the freight cost to haul all that water along with the beans to the processor or elevator.

One producer says he just brought in a 28,100-pound load of beans at 28% moisture. His moisture dockage was the equivalent of 440 bushels of that truckload.

Click here to see recent news coverage of the harvest and the state of the beans up in Sorriso. It’s all in Portuguese, of course, but you can see what producers there are dealing with.

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

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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