Brazil’s Mato Grosso kicks off soy harvest, farmers make a good start

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Early harvesting in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state indicates soy producers had a good start to the year, growers association Aprosoja told Reuters on Friday.

Work began in the regions of Sinop, Sapezal and Primavera do Leste, said Aprosoja head Antonio Galvan, marking the start of harvesting in the world’s largest oilseeds exporter.

Mato Grosso will likely account for about 27 percent of Brazil’s output in the 2017/18 season, according to government projections.

“Fields being harvested at this stage indicate producers may have a very good crop,” Galvan said.

Still, because planting was delayed in certain areas due to drought, yields in places where sowing occurred later are likely to fall from levels seen in the 2016/17 cycle.

“At this time last year many farmers had begun harvesting their crop as rains were plentiful,” Galvan said.

This year, the work will only gain pace in the next few days, he said.

Brazil’s soybean crop is expected to total 110.2 million tonnes in the current season, the second highest in history, according to a Reuters polls of 11 forecasters.

In Mato Grosso, output is expected to reach 30.1 million tonnes, according to government projections, but that figure could be revised down because there were planting delays, Galvan said.

Soy sown later is more prone to diseases such as soy rust, which, in turn, may affect crop yields if farmers fail to manage the fields properly, Galvan said.

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