A lack of rain has limited soybean planting  in Brazil’s large center-west growing belt so far this fall, but widespread rains are expected to spread into the region the middle of next week boosting planting activity in Brazil’s top soybean state of Mato Grosso and in No. 4 producer Goias.
"Extended forecast models show that after Oct. 20 rains of greater volume should accumulate over the center-west," local weather forecaster Somar said in a weekly bulletin, according to Reuters News Service .
Until then, the region will remain drier than normal. The center-west got its first spring rains in early October, about a month later than typical, but soil moisture levels are still insufficient for planting to start in many areas.
Mato Grosso had planted only 1.7% of its area as of Oct. 7, which compared with 14% planted a year earlier, according to the state farm economics institute IMEA.
Since the start of October, Mato Grosso has seen 29 mm of rainfall (1.14 in.) in its central soy area and 39 mm (1.54 in.) in its southern growing region, which normally see 155 mm (6.10 in.) and 135 mm (5.34 in.), respectively, over the full month.
Brazil's southern soybean producing states have been getting regular rainfall since late September and planting in the No. 2 soy state Parana and No. 5 soy state Mato Grosso do Sul have started. Planting in No. 3 Rio Grande do Sul doesn't typically start until late October or early November, although rains were strong in September.
According to private grain analyst Celeres, 3% of Brazil's total expected 2010-2011 (September/August) soybean acreage had been planted by Oct. 8, down from the 7% planted a year earlier, but on par with historical planting rates.
Parana was the most advanced of the main growing states and had planted 9% of its expected crop, up from 2% a week earlier, but slightly behind the 10% planted at this time in 2009, Celeres said in a weekly report.
A new cold front is due to arrive over the southern soy planting states on Thursday bring widespread rains, Somar said.
On Thursday and Friday, 40 mm (1.6 in.) are expected to fall in Parana. The southern state has seen 89 mm since the start of October. It is only 44% shy of the average its normal rainfall total for the entire month.
Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.