Much is made about Brazil soybean production, and rightfully so, they are the world’s largest producer and grow ~40% of the world’s soybeans. What is less spoken about, but is just as important to global grains, is Brazil corn production.
Brazil is the world’s second largest producer and exporter of corn behind the US and while they produce significantly less than the US does, it is still important to global grains. Simply put, if Brazil experiences a drought during their growing season it will cause higher prices both domestically within Brazil and around the globe.
Brazil corn production is a bit different than US corn production, or most other places around the world for that matter. Due to Brazil’s location relative to the equator, they have long growing seasons and are able to actually grow two corn crops per year.
First Corn Production
The first corn crop in Brazil is the smaller of the two and is grown during their primary soybean production season. Overall, first crop corn accounts for just over 20% of their corn production. The first corn crop in Brazil is planted starting in September and harvested between February and March each year. See below for a full production map from the USDA by region:
Second, or Safrina, Corn Production
After their first crop comes the “safrina” crop, or “little harvest” in portuguese. This may seem a little odd to call the larger of the two crops the “little harvest,” but initially it was the smaller of the two production times.
Today, the Safrina crop represents roughly 70% of brazilian corn production. The corn that is grown during the safrina is planted just after the soybean harvest from January to March and is harvested from June to August each year. See below for a full production map from the USDA by region for the Safrina crop: