Early Brazil Soy Harvest Under Way

Producers in Brazil's No. 1 soybean state of Mato Grosso are beginning to harvest the 2004-2005 crop, roughly on par with last season's start of harvest, according to a report from Reuters News Service.

One producer in northern Lucas do Rio Verde has already begun combine work in the fields. Various other growers in the municipality are waiting until next week to allow the soy to dry out a little more before starting, Reuters reported on Monday.

"Ten to 15 producers are finalizing preparations," the president of Lucas' Rural Union Helmute Lawisch told Reuters by phone. "Harvest should gain pace next week."

Favorable weather patterns allowed producers in the region to begin planting in September. Due to the climatic advantages in Lucas, the region is often the first to plant and harvest short cycle soybeans in Brazil's center-west soy belt.

In 2003, the first fields were collected in December. The peak of harvest in the region is from about January 20 to February 20.

The soybeans are a very early cycle variety, which are planted and mature earlier than other commercial varieties. Lawisch said about 40,000 hectares (99,000 acres), or 20% of the region's soy area, is early variety.

The volume of early variety beans in the region is less than in previous years because of the low price of cotton. Normally early maturing beans yield about 20% less than longer and later maturing commercial varieties. But the financial prospects of planting cotton during the off season after the early soy is harvested appeals to producers.

Also, producers have traditionally received premiums for soybeans harvested this early when supply of the new crop is still restricted and the old crop has all been sold. But Lawisch said there were no premiums for early harvest beans this year.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and 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.