South American farmers expected to produce more soybeans, less corn this season

Brazil’s equivalent to the USDA, CONAB, estimates the country’s soybean production will increase by nearly 5% and corn production will fall by nearly 10% for the 2023-2024 season.

CONAB pegs Brazil’s soybean production at a record 5.9 million bushels with acreage up 2.5% to 112 million acres. Corn production is projected 4.7 million bushels with acreage down 5% at 52 million acres.

Joana Colussi is a Brazilian native on the University of Illinois farmdoc team. She tells Brownfield more favorable soybean prices and the transition to an El Nino weather pattern prompted some growers to shift their planting intentions.

“During an El Nino Northern Brazil usually sink below normal rainfall, which can also bleed into portions of central Brazil, the main agricultural region. The temperatures also are generally higher, increasing the risk for crops in the center West.”

She says growers in that region are concerned corn yields may suffer from El Nino conditions.

She says following three years of a La Nina pattern, El Nino conditions could be more beneficial for crops in southern Brazil and Argentina.

“The forecast is that Argentina will recover the losses that they had in the last season, so probably will have bigger soybean production in Argentina as well.”

South American farmers are currently planting soybeans and first season corn. Colussi says planting got started on time in most areas with no significant weather delays so far.  

Audio: Interview with Joana Colussi

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