August 15, 2011

Much of Wheat Crop in Parana Expected to be Poor Quality

The State Secretary of Agriculture in Parana is expecting the heat production in the state to fall 900,000 tons short of its estimates at the start of the growing season. They are now expecting the wheat crop in the state to be 2.5 million tons. The statewide average wheat yield is expected to be 2,600 kg/ha (37.7 bu/ac) compared to an average yield of 2,900 kg/ha (42 bu/ac) obtained in 2010.

In addition to low yields, the quality of the wheat crop is expected to be poor as well. So poor in fact that some farmers wonder if they will even be able to sell their wheat at any price. Some grain elevators have already rejected wheat due to poor quality and more rejections are expected. Much of the wheat produced in Parana this year is expected to end up as animal feed instead of being used to make bread.

The problem with the wheat crop in southern Brazil has been many fold. The first problem was a drought during May and the first half of June. That was followed by a series of freezing temperatures at the end of June and then again two weeks ago. The problem now is prolonged wet weather as farmers are getting ready to start harvesting.

Parana is the number one wheat producing state in Brazil, so if the wheat crop in the state ends up smaller than anticipated, then Brazil will have to import more than the 5 million tons that had already been anticipated.