Brazil Soy Planting Two-Thirds Done

Brazil's soybean producers had planted 66% of their expected crop acreage by last Friday, slightly behind historical levels, according to Brazilian marketing consultant Safras e Mercado.

According to Safras, planting advanced from 51% planted a week earlier, but remained behind the five-year average of 69%. Planting activity was slowed last week by hot, dry conditions in Brazil's large Center-West growing area and by continued wet conditions in southern Brazil. However, conditions were expected to improve over the weekend.

Brazil's No. 3 soybean producing state, Rio Grande do Sul, which is also its southernmost soy area, had planted 35% of its crop by last Thursday, the state Agricultural Federation (Fecoagro/RS) said.

Brazil's No. 2 soy state of Parana has also received adequate to excessive rains since the start of planting season. Agronomists there are investigating producer reports of young soy plants dying from what appears to be a fungus triggered by heavy rains, the government crop research arm (Embrapa) said last Thursday.

Agronomists said that common fungi appeared to be the culprit and ruled out the devastating Asian soy rust which hit about 2.6% of the Brazilian crop last season

Editors note: Richard Brock, Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.