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August 27, 2015

Wheat Harvest in Parana 5% Complete

The state of Parana in southern Brazil is expected to be the largest wheat producing state in Brazil and farmers in Parana have harvested approximately 5% of their 2015 wheat crop. Heavy rains earlier in July resulted in increased disease pressure on the earliest planted wheat. The two main diseases appear to be gibberella and wheat blast and the far northern and western part of the state was hardest hit.

Of the wheat that is being harvested, two-thirds of the crop is rated good and one-third is rated average to poor. Early yields are a little disappointing, but yields are expected to improve as the harvest moves into the later planted wheat. No wheat varieties are completely resistant to wheat blast, but there are various levels of tolerance to the disease and farmers that planted the more resistant varieties are expected to have the best results.

The quality of the wheat thus far is better than last year when heavy rains at harvest resulted in very poor quality wheat. The harvest will continue into October and farmers are hoping that El Nino induced heavy rains do not develop until the wheat is harvested.

The wheat acreage in the state declined 5% compared to 2014, but the total production is expected to increase by 4% to 3.96 million tons. The increased production is the result of higher expected yields. Conab is estimating that the statewide wheat yield will be 2,991 kg/ha or 43.3 bu/ac.

The second largest wheat producing state in Brazil is Rio Grande do Sul and the crop in that state is still in vegetative development. The wheat harvest in Rio Grande do Sul will start in November and continue until early December.