Brazilian farmer will likely plant a record-high 36.28 million hectares to soybeans in 2018-19, according to analysts surveyed by Reuters. This comes despite risk factors like a volatile exchange rate and ongoing uncertainty regarding freight rates. Those surveyed expect this to result in yet another record-high crop of 119.76 MMT, up marginally from the current season. But clearly, a lot can change. Planting of the crop will not get underway until September.
On the other hand, South American Crop Consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier warns that 2018-19 could break the two-year streak of record soybean yields. While he still expects Brazilian soybean acreage to climb 3% to 4%, he says there is a “distinct possibility that the soybean production in 2018/19 may not increase a corresponding 3% to 4%.”
He explains that weather is always the primary concern when it comes to yield potential, but Cordonnier also adds that “if farmers have trouble planting no-till soybeans due to a ban on Roundup and they apply less fertilizers, and if the weed pressures are greater this coming growing season, it is possible that the Brazilian soybean production might actually decline in 2018-19.”