By Alastair Stewart
DTN South America Correspondent
SAO PAULO, Brazil (DTN) -- Another hot, dry week in Brazil's Center-West and South-East regions put Brazil's soybean planting further behind schedule, according to AgRural, a local farm consultancy.
Up to Friday, farmers had planted 10% of the projected Brazilian crop, well behind planting at this stage last year, when 19% was in the ground, and the five-year average of 20%.
Field work moved forward just three percentage points last week as growers continue to wait for spring rains in Mato Grosso and surrounding Center-West states, which account for nearly 50% of soy production.
Spring rains are around a month late in the Center-West. As a result, farmers who planted early in the month on light showers will now have to replant a portion of their crop. The extent of the replanting will only become clear once rains arrive.
Weather charts indicate rain will return to the region from Wednesday, with between 15 to 30 mm forecast for the week in Mato Grosso, Goias and northern Mato Grosso do Sul, according Somar, a local weather service.
However, even if farmers do get into the fields this week, the window for planting second-crop corn after soybeans is getting tighter. AgRural estimates that, given regular weather conditions, Mato Grosso will only have planted 5% of second-crop corn by the end of January, compared with the five-year average of 14%. The later the corn is planted, the higher the risk of dry weather during the key reproductive phases and this risk has already been reflected in rising prices on the Brazilian corn market, said AgRural.
In the south, planting has also not gone as fast as it could due to heavy rains at the end of September and early October and then high temperatures over the last couple of weeks.
Parana, the No. 2 soy state, had planted 33% of the soybean crop up to Oct. 17, which is back from the 40% planted last year although in line with the five-year average of 33%.
The hot weather has made farmers in the region edgy, although temperatures should drop this week.
In the Center-West, Mato Grosso had planted 11% of the crop as of Friday, well back from the 30% recorded at the same stage last year. In the west of the state, isolated showers last week allowed for some planting progress and 16% had been planted there.
Similarly in Mato Grosso do Sul, some 10% had been planted as of Friday compared with 30% last year.
In Goias, just 3% of the crop was planted compared with 7% last year and a five-year average of 17%.
Alastair Stewart can be reached at email@example.com
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