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June 8, 2017

Excessive Rains in Rio Grande do Sul slows Wheat Planting

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Persistent wet weather in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil could result in a larger reduction than anticipated in the state's 2017 wheat acreage. According to Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the State of Rio Grande do Sul (FecoAgro/RS), if the weather does not improve over the next 15 days, a reduction of more than 10% in the wheat acreage is expected for the 2017 crop.

Wheat planting in the state started on May 15th, but during the intervening three weeks, very little wheat has been planted. Additionally, some of the earlier planted wheat needs to be replanted. The hardest hit area is the northwestern region of the state where as much as 800 mm of rainfall fell during the month of May (32 inches). The days are short and the persistent cloudy weather has slowed the drying of the soil. Adding to the problem is the forecast for possible frosts in the state over the next few days.

Not only has the wet weather slowed wheat planting, it has also slowed the planting of other winter crops such as canola and oats. It has also impacted the late harvest of soybeans, corn, and dry beans.

Numerous municipalities in the state have declared a state of emergency due to washed out rural roads and rural bridges. This has especially impacted small rural towns and slowed the movement of grain such as soybeans, corn, and rice. As of now, 56 municipalities have declared an emergency.