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June 18, 2014

Wet Weather Slows Planting of Winter Crops in Southern Brazil

Wet weather in southern Brazil is slowing the wheat planting in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. According the extension service in the state, Emater/RS, the wheat planting is running 17% slower than the five year average. Farmers are getting concerned as the planting window will close before they have an opportunity to plant all their intended wheat. In the areas where the planting can still go until July, farmers are preparing for planting by applying descants and getting their planters ready. In areas where the wheat has already been planted, the germination and early development of the crop has been acceptable.

Farmers in the state are expected to plant 1.1 million hectares of wheat or 6.2% more than last year. Nationwide, the wheat acreage in Brazil is expected to increase 18% in 2014 to 2.61 million hectares compared to 2.20 million hectares planted in 2013. Brazil's wheat production is expected to increase 33% in 2014 to 7.37 million tons compared to 5.52 million tons in 2013.

Wheat is by far the largest winter crop in the state, but farmers also plant other winter crops such as canola and barley. Most of the canola has been planted, but there has been problems reported with germination and erosion due to heavy rainfall. The 2014 canola acreage in the state is expected to decline 4% to 29,000 hectares. Nationwide canola acreage is estimated at 42,500 hectares or 6% less than last year.