Brazilian farmers have harvested 5% of the planted soybean area in the 2022/23 cycle through last Thursday, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday, up 3 percentage points from the previous week but still below last year’s levels.
At the same time in 2022, 10% of the Brazilian soy fields had been reaped, said AgRural, which currently expects this season’s crop to reach 152.9 million tonnes but already hints at potential yield cuts ahead.
Irregular rainfall has been hurting soybean areas in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, and should lead AgRural to further reduce its yield estimates for the region in upcoming crop updates, the consultancy said in a statement.
The harvest delay on a yearly basis, AgRural added, comes as top grain producing state Mato Grosso faces a lack of sunshine in-between rain periods, creating a “winter-like” weather. Fieldwork has also been delayed in other states including Parana.
Despite the record output forecast this season, the firm said, the volume harvested so far reached nearly 8 million tonnes, down from 13 million tonnes a year ago, when Brazil faced a crop failure.
AgRural’s harvest estimate matches those of other private consultancies, including Patria AgroNegocios and Safras & Mercado , which provided fresh figures on Friday.
With the soybean harvest delay, planting of Brazil’s second corn crop was also below last year’s levels, reaching 5% of the expected area as of Thursday, AgRural said, down from 14% at the same time in 2022.
“The delay still does not threaten the corn planting window, but it is important that from early February it advances more quickly,” the consultancy said.
Farmers in Brazil normally sow their second corn crop, which represents 70-75% of national production in a given year, after soybeans are reaped.