Brazilian Farm Life 08-30-19: Calm before the storm

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Brazilian Farm Life 08-30-19: Calm before the storm

Here in Florida, we are bracing and preparing for Hurricane Dorian to hit this holiday weekend. Though it is the first time I am experiencing a hurricane, the calm before the storm reminds me of how life feels just before planting or harvest. Farm families know the work involved with preparing for these periods of intense field work. Minds are focused. Supplies are checked and double checked. Rest and family time are important. And the volume of the TV is turned up when the weather news comes on!

This week, I spoke to a Brazilian farmer who was heading back to Brazil after spending some time of rest at his vacation home in Orlando. Another was touring the USA corn belt and visited the Farm Progress show. Yet others simply took some time off for camping, fishing and boating on a river near their farm. This rest and change of pace is valuable. As the calendar rolls from August to September, the demands of planting will soon hit full force.

Brazil’s soybean-free period ends in the latter part of September for much of Brazil. In western Paraná, planting can start as early as September 11th. Rains are expected in Southern Brazil. Central Brazil, on the other hand, continues hot and dry. Planting may be delayed due to lack of rain in states like Mato Grosso. Late planting dates are not likely to limit soybean yields, but they can hinder double crop corn.

Many farmers are now spreading fertilizer and lime. Much of the fertilizer is delivered in 1 ton big bags, some is delivered bulk. The labor intensive practice of using 50kg fertilizer bags is less and less common. I spoke with a farmer in Mato Grosso, he is using 0-21-0 and 0-0-60 for his soybean fertilization. He plans on spreading all this fertilizer before planting. The work on the farm is getting done. The school year is just over half way finished. Farmers and farm families are relaxing before planting. It is the calm before the storm.

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