It is my turn to weigh in on the debate surrounding the Amazon fires in Brazil. It is not my intent to minimize the importance of the Amazon, but much of the media coverage is overkill. Yes, there are fires in the Amazon. No, that is not a good thing. There are fires every year, […]
The next crop of soybeans and corn has been planted in Brazil. My wife’s family finished just last week. They typically like to get everything in by December 1st, but with heavy rains it pushed the planting window back a week. Other areas like the Mato Grosso were ahead of schedule, beating their five-year planting average by several days or more. This would indicate that Brazil’s crop prospects are firing on all cylinders. The sooner the crop gets in, the better odds they have of producing a bumper crop. Ag consultants are already busy putting together crop estimates.
Brazil elected a new President yesterday. His name is Jair Bolsonaro. He won easily by winning 55% of the votes. While the election was not close, the rhetoric during the campaign seemed to mimic that of our most recent American Presidential election.
It has been a great year from start to finish in Mato Grosso. There were a few negative harvest stories about grain trucks stuck in the mud and soybeans rotting in the pods. These made for a couple of good headlines that jolted the market, but ultimately they meant nothing. Bulls will look to point at anything at this point to try and push the market higher. Grain trucks that are stuck in a traffic jam, while foreign to us, are just a way of life in Brazil. Hiring trucks is easy. It is common that when a truck leaves the farm to take a load to town, you might not see it until the next day. Worst-case scenario, you just hire another truck. It may cost a little more but the harvest won’t stop.
I spent all of last week visiting farms in Mato Grosso where they are half way complete with the harvest. The northeast region of Brazil won’t begin harvest for at least another month. In short, the soybean yields in Mato Grosso look fantastic. I had to travel about 300 miles before I would find a soybean field that looked less than perfect. Farmers continue to make progress, finding ways to boost productivity and lower costs. In some of the “older” production areas, overall yields of 60 bushels per acre will be fairly common. One of the agronomists that was accompanying me, was downright giddy as they had 5000 acres that averaged about 75 bushels per acre…of course that 5000 acres was only 10% of their overall planted area.