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August 18, 2016

Wheat in Southern Brazil could be Impacted by Potential Frost

The forecast for cold temperatures this weekend has put farmers in southern Brazil on alert. The possibility of frost is forecasted for the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and southern Parana. The most likely time for frost is this coming Saturday and Sunday nights.

The greatest potential for damage would be for the wheat crop in Parana where according to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral), 71% of the wheat is in the flowering stage or beyond. Freezing temperatures at this late stage of development can be very detrimental for wheat.

The early planted wheat in Rio Grande do Sul is also in the flowering stage while the later planted wheat is still in vegetative development. At some of the higher elevations in eastern Rio Grande do Sul, which is outside of the grain producing region, there is even the forecast for some light snow.

Brazil only produces about half of its wheat needs, so any damage to the crop would mean that Brazil would need to import even more wheat.

There is little chance of the cold front would advance far enough north to impact the sugarcane or coffee crops of southeastern Brazil.