Crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier says farmers in Mato Grosso, Brazil, have begun harvesting 90- to 100-day soybean varieties. He says harvest in the western areas of the state has begun earlier than last year, but is on track with year-ago in the central regions.
"Early yield reports have been positive with yields in the range of 55 sacks per hectare (3,300 kg/ha or 47.8 bu/ac)," he reports. "These are very good yields for early maturing soybeans which generally have a somewhat lower yield potential than later maturing soybeans. The good yields are being attributed to good weather thus far and a lack of significant disease or insect pressure. Farmers in the state have applied preventative fungicide treatments and only 13 cases of soybean rust have been confirmed in the state. Everyone had been concerned about potential damage from the corn earworm caterpillar, but thus far farmers have been generally successful in keeping the pest under control."
Dr. Cordonnier says virtually all of the harvested soybeans will be followed by a second crop of corn or cotton. "The earlier these second crops are planted, generally the higher the yield potential. Farmers are also anxious to plant their second crop as soon as possible because of the possibility of an early end to the rainy season in March or April," he adds.