April 16, 2018 / 9:39 PM / a year ago

Brazil corn farmers to get relief from late April rain: forecaster

FILE PHOTO: Tall feed corn is harvested on a warm summer day in Santo Antonio do Jardim February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Above average rains in key corn-growing regions should bring relief to Brazilian farmers, easing drought fears as the country’s second corn crop develops through the end of April.

According to the Thomson Reuters Agriculture Weather Dashboard, average rainfall in states like Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás will be between 60mm (2.4 inches) and 80mm in the second half of April.

Some corn-growing areas in those states will have rains of 100mm in the period, the data showed.

“There were rains in late March and early April in Paraná and São Paulo states, maintaining soil humidity,” said Paulo Molinari, an analyst with Safras & Mercados consultancy. He noted fields are developing normally in those states while in Mato Grosso and Goiás conditions are almost “perfect.”

In the west and northwest of Paraná, the second largest corn producing state after Mato Grosso, rains will reach 94mm in certain areas, slightly above average, the forecasts indicate.

The government estimates 88.61 million tonnes of corn will be harvested this cycle in Brazil. Brazil’s second corn crop, planted after soybeans are harvested, accounts for about 71 percent of all corn produced in the country.

Because this year some farmers planted second-corn outside the ideal window, producers in Paraná, a region normally colder than the center-west of Brazil, could face frost that is potentially damaging to the crop.

“There is still no forecast of frosts, but the risk exists with the end of La Niña,” Molinari said.

Reporting by José Roberto Gomes; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Tom Brown

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