RipeCornField - close up of tassels Xali_Gou/ThinkstockPhotos

Brazil’s second-crop corn harvest will be big

South American farmers making up for lost time as harvest advances.

I just spent a couple of days traveling in downstate Illinois, looking at the replanted corn and beans. I have to say that the Brazilian second-crop corn (safrinha) is looking better than our main crop right now.

It’s been a pretty good week across Brazil for harvesting second-crop corn, with producers in Parana making up for lost time from too much moisture for harvesting over the past weeks. As a result, only 5% of the country’s second-crop corn is now in the bin according to one market observing company. That compares to the 4.6% average over the past four years and the 7.7% for this week of 2016.

Things are better in Brazil’s top second-crop corn state of Mato Grosso, where 11.8% of the crop is in, compared to 14.4% for this week of last year. Unusual rains at the end of May and into June slowed harvest activities down this time around. But with dry weather in the forecast, we can look for combines getting into the fields in full force for the coming weeks.

Up in the northern part of the state, near Sorriso, there are reports of 153 bushels per acre, with an area average of around 124 bushels.

Advanced sales
Some 61% of that second-crop Mato Grosso corn has already been sold according to the Mato Grosso Agricultural Economics Institute, coming to around 3.8 million metric tons.

And that’s ahead of last season’s pace due to the strength of the dollar, which makes corn a bit more valuable for farmers, who are nearly 10% ahead of last year’s selling pace at around $2.09 per bushel.

Elsewhere across the country, the second-crop corn harvest hovers from one to two percent finished in states like Goias, Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais, which are less important to the national picture.

Corn yields up
The AgRural consultancy estimates Brazil’s season’s second-crop corn harvest at 67.1 metric tons, up from 63.6 million estimated last month. As a result, we are in for a bit of competition this season. Brazil’s number-two second-crop corn state of Parana has faced some difficulties due to moisture at the optimum planting time, but the top second-crop corn state of Mato Grosso is looking forward to a good season.

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

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