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December 8, 2015

2015 Wheat Crop in Rio Grande do Sul ends up very Disappointing

The 2015 wheat harvest in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil is now complete and this marks two years in a row of very disappointing wheat production in the state.

The statewide average wheat yield in Rio Grande do Sul is estimated at 1,693 kg/ha or 24.5 bu/ac, which represent an increase of 19% comparted to the 1,417 kg/ha recorded last year (20.5 bu/ac). The total wheat production in the state is down compared to last year due to a reduction in wheat acreage. Farmers in the state planted 0.88 million hectares in 2015, which represented a reduction of 25% compared to the 1.18 million hectares planted in 2014.

The total wheat production in the state is estimated at 1.48 million tons, which is down 34% from the 2.26 million tons estimated at the start of the growing season. In 2014, the state produced 1.67 million tons of wheat.

Problems for this year's wheat crop started early with heavy precipitation during planting. The situation got worse during the growing season with heavy rains, strong winds, hail, and even a late frost that occurred during flowering and early grain filling. It got even worse during harvest with more wet weather. In addition to low yields, the wheat crop this year was also very poor quality with a lot of the wheat only suitable for animal feed.

Farmers in the state have already indicated that they intend to reduce their wheat acreage again in 2016. Therefore, it is estimated that Brazil's wheat imports will increase again next year.