Brazil’s harvest of the 2017/2018 soybean crop began in a punctual way two weeks ago, mainly in Mato Grosso.
The harvest has reached 0.3% of the total planted area, according to AgRural’s survey. According to estimates by the National Supply Company (Conab), Brazil can produce 110.4 million tons this season.
“The rains were great for the development of crops. I’m looking forward to 60 60-kilo bags per hectare (53.5 bushels per acre) this year,” says producer Gilberto Eberhardt, who planted 510 hectares (1,260 acres) of soybeans at Recanto Farm, located in the city of Lucas do Rio Verde (Mato Grosso). There, the harvest is set to begin on Tuesday (16/01).
Despite the delay of about 15 days at the beginning of planting, the crops in the region are in excellent condition. “For those who have already started harvesting, the result is at the same level as last year,” says Eberhardt.
The producer is optimistic to conclude the crop, but has two concerns: the rains and prices considered low for soybeans this season. “Rain is expected during the harvest, and this worries us because it can drop crop yields,” says Eberhardt. In relation to soybean prices, he says that he sold 35% of the crop and that the prices could fall R$ 5 per 60-kilo bag in this harvest.
Soybean harvest in Paraná
In Paraná, a southern Brazil state, producer José Antônio Borghi, who is also president of the Rural Union of Maringá (city in Paraná state), says that producers from Paraná are also optimistic about the 2017/2018 soybean crop. The harvest is expected to begin within 45 days in this region, in late February or early March.
According to Borghi, the crops are very similar to the previous season. In this season, he kept the area of ??last year and cultivated 500 hectares (1,235 acres) of soybeans at Marajó Farm, which should be ready for harvesting only from February. “The situation is good, the crops are in normal conditions, and the production perspective is also good,” says the producer.
In order for the soybean crops in the region to continue developing well, he says that it is necessary to maintain soil moisture for another 30 days. According to the weather forecast, this might occur, since the rains should continue in Paraná until the end of January.
“It has rained with some exaggeration, more than normal for the period, but this isn’t all bad. We had difficulty with phytosanitary treatments, but the result [of the soybean crop until now] is positive,” Borghi says.
Rains can disrupt harvesting
As reported by the producer from Lucas do Rio Verde (MT), the possibility of large volumes of rainfall during the harvest period also worries Paraná soybean farmers. According to Borghi, if the precipitation occurs unexpectedly, they can cause difficulties and harm the harvest.
According to Borghi, the expected yield at Fazenda Marajó is 70 60-kilo bags per hectare (63 bushels per acre). “Due to heavy rainfall and cloudy weather, the [soybean] cycle is likely to lengthen a bit,” says the producer. Under these conditions, producers are already prepared for a slight delay in planting the second harvest. “But it doesn’t discourage producers,” says the producer.