March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Farmers in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state will produce fewer soybeans than expected after a dry spell was followed by rain at harvest time, researcher Instituto Mato-Grossense de Economia Agropecuaria said.
The harvest in the state, the country’s biggest soybean grower, is predicted to be 23.6 million metric tons, down from a previous forecast of 24.1 million tons, Cuiaba, Brazil-based IMEA wrote in an online report dated March 22. That compares with last year’s crop of 21.4 million tons.
Farmers last year focused on planting soybeans as early as possible, sowing after the first rains of September, IMEA wrote. A dry spell after planting stunted growth in some parts of Mato Grosso, while the return of rains in January and February interfered with plans for an early harvest, it said.
"When comparing between regions, it seems the traditional producers had the biggest reductions, weighing on the state average," IMEA wrote.
The state’s soybeans were 92.6 percent harvested as of March 21, IMEA wrote, up from 85.2 percent a week earlier and compared with 94.4 percent of the harvest completed a year ago.
The outlook for Mato Grosso soybean yields was cut to 49.8 60-kilogram bags (2.99 tons) per hectare (2.47 acres) from an earlier outlook for 51 bags per hectare, and compared with 50 bags in 2012, according to IMEA.
For the Medio-Norte region that grows more than a third of Mato Grosso’s soybeans, the outlook for yields was reduced to 49.8 bags per hectare from 52 bags, cutting expected production to 9 million tons from 9.32 million tons.
--Editors: John Deane, Sharon Lindores
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