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BRAZIL CORN WATCH: Frost damage limited, dryness concerns remain

The damage to the 2021-22 second corn crop following the frost last week is likely to be limited in the key growing regions of Brazil, according to local reports.

In the extreme west of Parana, the second-largest producer of corn, frosts were occasional and weaker and no significant damage to the cereal crop was seen, Brazil’s national agricultural agency Conab said May 23.

Meanwhile, dry weather conditions and lack of adequate rainfall continue to be a cause of concern in Brazil.

“Dry weather prevailed across the safrinha corn areas in Brazil over the weekend. The dry weather maintained extensive dryness concerns across Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais, northern Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo,” space technology provider Maxar said in its daily weather report on May 23.

Moreover, the Center-West region is unlikely to receive significant rainfall during May 23-30, according to Brazil’s National Institute of Meteorology, or INMET on May 23.

Restrictions due to low rainfall may harm cotton, the second-crop corn, and wheat in reproductive stages, Conab said.

In Parana, rainfall is likely to be less than 10 mm during May 23-30 and a lack of rains will hurt corn crops which are in the flowering and grain-filling stage in the northern parts of Parana, Conab said.

Currently, 56.1% of the second-corn crop in the major corn-growing states is in the grain-filling stage in Brazil, according to Conab.

During the grain fill stage of corn, drought stress leads to premature death of leaf tissue, shortened grain fill periods, increased lodging, fewer kernels, and light kernel weights, Iowa State University said in a report on the influence of drought on corn.

However, safrinha corn growth is finishing up and the harvest is beginning in some parts of Mato Grosso, the largest producer of corn in Brazil.

Once physiological maturity is attained, additional drought stress will not have much impact on grain yield.

Brazil’s national agricultural agency Conab recently cut its forecast last week for corn production to a record 114.6 million mt in the marketing year 2021-22 (February-January) from the 115.60 million mt projected in April.

Brazil’s 2021-22 corn crop is marketed from February 2022 to January 2023.
Source: Platts

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