Soy reaches 85% of the harvested area at Capal units

Above-average temperatures and poorly distributed rainfall caused significant losses in crop productivity

01.04.2024 | 13:59 (UTC -3)
Elton Telles
Photo: Disclosure
Photo: Disclosure

Weather conditions were the biggest challenge faced by Capal producers during the 2023/2024 Summer Harvest. The intense heat, combined with poorly distributed rain, caused significant losses in crop productivity. Soy, the main product cultivated during the period, reaches 85% of the harvested area in the cooperative's assisted areas in the states of Paraná and São Paulo. 

However, there was a crop failure in all units, with an estimated 20% lower compared to the previous harvest, due to weather factors.

The drop in production at Capal is similar to official figures for the states of Paraná and São Paulo. According to the Department of Rural Economy (Deral), of the State Department of Agriculture and Supply (Seab), for soybeans in Paraná, production is estimated to be 16,4% lower than the initial estimate. The Institute of Agricultural Economics (IEA-Apta), a body linked to the Secretariat of Agriculture and Supply (SAA), predicts a drop of around 28% in soybean production in the state of São Paulo.

Agricultural engineer Airton Luiz Pasinatto, regional coordinator of Technical Assistance - São Paulo, points out that some regions covered by the cooperative were even more harmed due to the replanting of soybeans as a result of excessive rainfall in the months of October and November, a factor that caused the seed rot. 

“The rain stopped in the following months, but the El Ninho phenomenon brought temperatures around two degrees above the historical average of the last 30 years, precisely during the period in which soybeans were developing”, he explains. 

With the high temperatures in São Paulo, the agronomist remembers that the prolonged drought lasted from the second half of December until the end of February. “The grains suffered dehydration and we had an anticipation of the soybean cycle that ended up ending forcefully. The most drastic loss was in the Taquarituba region, even in areas that have irrigation, as the crop supports thermal comfort below 32 degrees”, he points out.

Pricing

Capal's Commercial Director, Eliel Magalhães Leandro, comments that it was a difficult year for producers, with drops in production and lower prices. “The cooperative has not seen a crop failure situation like this for a long time. We were coming from successive good years and now we had this challenge combined with the drop in Chicago values, with lower prices, but more adequate costs”, he declares.

The director explains that the harvest faced a water deficit in the critical phase, even though the producer had entered the right planting window. “This is associated with extremely high temperatures, more than we have seen over the years in the region,” he says. On the other hand, according to Eliel, the anticipation of soybeans this year contributed to an extremely good planting window for producers who plant safrinha. 

Even with the crop failure, some producers had positive results, both in grain and seed production. 

“We are an 'open-air factory' and depend on the weather. Unfortunately, some situations had a significant impact. On the other hand, the producer himself realized that he had a more affected planting window, but he did not expect something so impactful”, said the regional coordinator of Technical Assistance – Paraná, agronomist Roberto Martins. According to him, some members were harmed more and others less during the harvest. 

“We cannot say that it was a harvest with only negative results. In a balanced way we see areas with above-average productivity, very good qualities in seed fields and producers with average plots that they have never achieved before”, he concludes.

Mosaic Biosciences March 2024