Fair Weather Brings Promises of Boom Crop for Brazil

Corn silo in Paraná state, Brazil Harvest prospects are excellent in Brazil and in neighboring countries in South America. Weather conditions are improving in Mercosur main farm areas helping advance optimistic prospects for the 2007/08 harvests.

In Southern Brazil's Paraná state, the number two soybean state, the harvest is expected to reach a record 11.9 million tons and the corn crop 8.85 million tons.

In Argentina the wheat crop is predicted to reach 14 million tons while corn and sunflower planted areas are expected to increase significantly.

In Paraná the state's crop supply agency Deral indicated that the 2006/07 soybean production was 11.7 million tons and the corn crop 8.78 million tons. However dry weather has delayed corn planting for this season which could cause some producers to leave part of their land to plant soybeans.

"It's possible the soy area forecast will be bigger (than the current one) in our coming report, to be released next month," said Otmar Hubner, analyst at Deral.

The state's soy area is currently estimated at 3.92 million hectares, unchanged from the area under crops in 2006/07. Corn area is seen at 1.37 million hectares, compared with 1.32 million hectares last season.

Paraná, also the No. 1 wheat producing state in Brazil, is expected to produce 1.88 million tons of the cereal, Deral said. In 2006/07, the state harvested 1.2 million tons of wheat.

According to Argentina's Agriculture Secretariat favorable weather has helped growth in key wheat areas such as the province of Buenos Aires (60% of total production), Santa Fe and Cordoba. The 2007/08 wheat crop is predicted to be just below the 2006/07 output, but benefiting from world record prices for the cereal.

Argentina's wheat harvest prospects are closely monitored internationally since the country is among the world's top five exporters.

Argentina is the world's second-biggest corn exporter after the United States, and the government sees its farmers dedicating more land to the grain this season – 3.95 million hectares compared with the previous cycle's 3.57 million.

Córdoba province is Argentina's most-important corn growing area, followed by Buenos Aires where damp conditions put an end to a prolonged dry spell.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) projected Argentina's 2006/07 crop at 22.5 million tons and expects the 2007/08 harvest to be the same size.

Finally planting of the Argentine sunflower crop is gradually catching up as weather conditions improve. Argentina's Agriculture Secretariat forecasts a sowing area of 2.75 million hectares, up from 2.45 million in the prior season. Argentina produced an estimated 3.61 million tons of sun-seeds in 2006/07.

Mercopress

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