September 18, 2018 / 8:43 PM / in 2 months

Soy planting gets underway in Brazil after favorable weather

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian farmers sped up soy and corn plantings this week for the country’s next grain crop, under favorable weather conditions and a positive market outlook, despite a sharp fall in soybean futures in Chicago on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A man works in a mountain of soybeans stocked in the city of Sorriso, Mato Grosso state September 27, 2012. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/File Photo

Soybean planting in Brazil’s second-largest producing state of Paraná reached 9 percent of the expected final area this week, up 8 percentage points from last week and compared to only 1 percent at this time last year, as ample soil moisture allowed for a quick start of fieldwork.

Producers in No. 1 soy state Mato Grosso were also quick to plant as soon as the soy seeding ban - a measure adopted each year to reduce soy rust outbreaks - ended on Sept. 15, according to industry-backed institute Imea.

Both states are reporting favorable conditions, although some Mato Grosso farmers are still waiting for higher levels of soil moisture to start planting, said Daniel Latorraca Ferreira, who overseas research at Imea.

“We had more rains this year than last season at this time,” Ferreira said.

He added that farmers who plan to plant cotton as a rotation crop right after they harvest soybeans were the first to start soy planting in Mato Grosso.

The first Imea report on the status of field work is due to be published on Friday.

Separately, agricultural statistics agency Deral said planting of the first crop of corn had reached 37 percent of the projected area, also well ahead of the same time last year, when farmers had planted only 12 percent.

Several states had delays in planting last season due to insufficient rain. That delay resulted in a more risky window for planting of the season’s second corn crop, which generally follows immediately on the soy harvest, leading to losses in Brazil’s total output of the cereal.

This year, farmers are likely eager to plant and harvest as soon as possible, with Brazilian soy trading at record premiums over Chicago prices. Its soy is benefiting from strong demand from China, which is seeking alternative sources to avoid raised tariffs on beans from the United States.

Rains are expected to continue to fall over Mato Grosso in the next 10 days, with around 20 millimeters (0.79 inch) forecast, according to the Thomson Reuters Agriculture Weather Dashboard.

Paraná will receive considerably more precipitation in the period, around 115 millimeters (4.53 inches).

Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and Roberto Samora, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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