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July 21, 2014

Wheat Planting in Southern Brazil Slowly Coming to an End

Wet weather during June in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul slowed the planting of the 2014 wheat crop, but improved weather in early July has allowed farmers to catch up somewhat on their wheat planting. The extension service in Rio Grande do Sul (Emater/RS-Ascar) reported last Thursday that 93% of the intended wheat acreage in the state had been planted, which is now close to the average planting pace.

In the regions of the state where the planting window generally stays open until the end of July such as northeastern and southern Rio Grande do Sul, approximately 80% of the wheat has been planted.

Due to the earlier wet conditions, the Ministry of Agriculture has extended the official planting window for wheat and barley in Rio Grande do Sul until July 20th or 31st in areas of the state where wet weather prevented the planting to be complete by the end of June or early July. Farmers must adhere to the official planting windows in order to be eligible for governmental programs.

Even with the delayed planting, farmers in the state are expected to plant at least 1.1 million hectares of wheat which would represent an increase of 6% compared to last growing season. The state of Parana is the leading wheat producing state in Brazil and farmers in the state are expected to plant 1.3 million hectares of winter wheat which would represent a 34% increase over 2013.

Conab is estimating that the 2014 Brazilian wheat crop will be 7.39 million tons, which is 33.8% larger than the 5.52 million tons produced last year. As a result, Brazilian wheat imports are expected to decline from 6.4 million tons in 2013 to 5.5 million tons in 2014. Brazil usually imports most of its wheat from neighboring Argentina, but it has been forced to import wheat from North America due to the reduced wheat production in Argentina.