By Greg Vincent
Soybean harvest is underway throughout Brazil and it's seeing
mixed results. While the frontier areas of Bahia and Maranhao in eastern Brazil and more established areas in southern Brazil are seeing excellent yields, the monster soybean-producing state of Mato Grosso is getting disappointing results.
There are multiple reasons factoring into this scenario. Pedro Schneider, a crop consultant from northern Mato Grosso, blames heavier-than-normal cloud cover throughout the afternoon hours when pods were filling. Plus, a major bout with Asian Soybean Rust.
Gustavo Weisheimer, vice president of the 150,000-acre farm Weisul Agricola says they had to spray for Asian soybean rust five times, instead of the budgeted four. "We are experiencing 10-15% lower yields than we had last year. We believe the main cause is Asian rust. At the end of the cycle, Asian rust was very strong. We added one extra spray and we couldn't handle it.”
Eder Silvera, a market analyst with Weisul says the problem is not isolated to his farm's fields. He anticipates gradually lower estimates from CONAB, the agriculture statistics bureau for the Brazilian government.
"We are seeing good yields in Bahia and in southern Brazil. Maranhao is at least average. We haven't seen the climate problems there. So far we have only seen estimates, but now we have a good share of the crop harvested. We expect numbers to be below what we have seen from CONAB and other research institutes.
While the yields are disappointing in Mato Grosso, they are still adequate, particularly considering the challenges they saw with soybean rust this year.