The soybean field in South America is in its final phase of the cycle, while most of the producer countries already started the harvest, and others almost finished it. Brazil is forecast to harvest something around 85.4 million tons in this crop according to the Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (CONAB). The projection in the crop’s beginning was that 90 million tons would be harvested, but the drought and high temperatures on the middle-south region of the country provoked considerable yield lost. The total planting area of soybean in 2013/14 season is 29.8 million hectares, according to data from CONAB.
Brazil, by having a large production area that spreads in different ecosystems, has different climatic conditions, which results in soybean’s fields with distinct evolution time. The three main producers in Brazil are the states of Mato Grosso, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul.
In Mato Grosso (the biggest producer), most of the fields have already been harvested, with more than 97% of the seed area harvested. On this state, the field conditions were exceptional until the half of February, when strong rains occurred, which decreased the grain’s quality in some regions. Still, the yield is bigger than last year, with state’s averaged around 3.144 tons/hectare.
Paraná (the second biggest producer) is also approaching the final phase of the harvest, with approximately 85% of its area harvested. On this state, by the end of 2013 and beginning of this year, the soybean’s fields suffered a lot with the drought, which allied with the high temperatures, reduced the culture’s yield potential, what resulted in a yield of something around 2.4 tons/hectare, a very low level for the state index.
Rio Grande do Sul (the third biggest producer) has 20% of its area already harvested. This state also suffered with drought and high temperatures, however, the rains that occurred on the phase of blooming and filling of the grains allowed the fields to keep a good yield potential. The yield averaged is around 2.7 tons/hectare, an index that is considered normal for the state.
It is important to point, that in this crop Brazil has been extreme, with reports of excellent yield in some regions and harsh losses in others, this way the country ended up having a break on the expected production if compared with the initial forecast.
Argentina is also a very important soybean producer at a worldwide level. According to the Bolsa de Cereales de Buenos Aires, the expected soybean production is around 54.5 million tons and the total planting area is 20.35 million hectares. The biggest amount of the production is concentrated in the province of Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Santa Fe. In this country, the harvest is in its beginning, with nearly 5% of the seed area harvested. Likewise Brazil’s south region, Argentina also suffered with drought and high temperatures between the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, causing a big disparity among the field’s production indexes. However, the yield should be close to the expected.
This way, we can confirm that the soybean’s crop in South America will be the biggest in history, even with problems with drought on the reproductive phase and a lot of rain on harvest in a few regions.
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