Jun 08, 2023

Brazilian Farmers Have Lack of Storage Options for Safrinha Corn

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Farmers in the municipality of Sorriso in central Mato Grosso have harvested 8% of their safrinha corn with yields in the range of 110 sacks per hectare (105 bu/ac). The yields are good, but the problem now is where to store their corn.

Storage space is very limited since farmers are still holding onto a significant portion of their 2022/23 soybeans. Farmers were reluctant to forward contract their 2022/23 soybean production due to declining prices earlier this year and since then, it has gotten worse. Spot prices for soybeans are as low as R$ 100 per sack (approximately $9.10 per bushel) and farmers have indicated that they will hold their soybeans waiting for higher prices.

Without available storage, many farmers are investing in silo bags or are going to temporarily store the corn in open-air piles, which is feasible during the dry season since there is limited chances of rainfall until sometime in September. If neither option is available, farmers would more likely sell their corn and keep their soybeans in storage.

If low prices persist until the end of the year, it is possible that farmers in Mato Grosso might reduce their 2023/24 safrinha corn acreage.

Farmers in the municipality of Goioere in west-central Parana have the same problem. They will start harvesting their safrinha corn during the second half of July and are expecting yields in the range of 100 to 120 sacks per hectare (95 to 114 bu/ac). Late season rains and a lack of pest pressure aided the development of the safrinha corn.

According to the director of the Rural Union of Goioere/PR, few farmers have forward contracted their anticipated safrinha corn production due to low prices. They too have a problem with a lack of storage space and storing the corn in open-air piles is not a feasible option in Parana due to the possibility of wet weather during July-August-September. This will probably force farmers to sell their corn at harvest.

Farmers in Goioere indicated that they have only purchased the minimum inputs necessary for their 2023/24 soybean production and that they may reduce their 2023/24 safrinha corn acreage if prices do not improve.