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Drought Complicating Brazil’s Corn Planting

Brazil’s farmers are running into difficulty ahead of their upcoming corn planting season. Reuters says drought is causing farmers in the South American country to slow their fertilizer purchases.

Corn is one of the most fertilizer-intensive crops, and the fertilizer slowdown is likely to dent sales in Brazil, the world’s top corn exporter. Brazil’s soybean harvest is already slowed, which may push planting back for the main corn crop that follows it early next year. Brazil’s farmers typically plant less corn when they miss the ideal planting window in January or February.

Fertilizer companies are already dealing with lower profits as crop and fertilizer prices continue to sag after they peaked during the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. U.S.-based fertilizer supplier Mosaic expects Brazil’s second-corn crop production to fall by 12 percent or 12.7 million metric tons.

That’s higher than the Brazilian government’s estimate of an 11.1-million-ton drop from last year.

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