November 17, 2015

Wheat Crop in Rio Grande do Sul Disappoints and Getting Worse

The news about the wheat crop in Rio Grande do Sul keeps getting worse. After four straight weeks of heavy rains in southern Brazil, the wheat harvest in Rio Grande do Sul is 80% complete and farmers are very disappointed by the low yields and poor quality of the grain. Emater/RS is reporting that the wheat yields in parts of the state are down by 50% compared to earlier estimates and that much of the wheat that has been harvested is of such poor quality that it will only be used as animal feed. The 20% of the wheat that is still in the field will certainly only be used for animal feed.

The higher wheat yields in the state were from the 10% of the crop that was harvested early, but even then, the yields were only in the range of 2,400 kg/ha or 35 bu/ac. A lot of the wheat currently being harvested is yielding in the range of 1,380 kg/ha (20 bu/ac) with some as low as 600 kg/ha (9 bu/ac).

In their November report, Conab lowered their estimate of the Brazilian wheat crop from 6.6 million tons in October to 6.2 million tons, but even with this reduction, I think their estimate is still too high and I expect a further reduction in December.