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October 23, 2013

Winter Wheat could Substitute for Safrinha Corn in Parana

The Secretary of Agriculture in the state of Parana has not yet released an estimate for the 2013/14 safrinha corn crop in the state, but the safrinha corn acreage could be reduced because farmers in Parana have the potential to plant an alternative crop, which is winter wheat. Parana is the only state in Brazil where there is both a large safrinha corn crop and a winter wheat crop.

In the state of Parana, safrinha corn competes with winter wheat for the same acreage. Safrinha corn in Parana is generally planted in February or March and harvested in June and July whereas the winter wheat is generally planted in May and harvested in October.

Winter wheat acreage increased in the state in 2013, but a series of frosts cut the state's wheat crop by approximately one third. The lower domestic wheat production, coupled with reduced estimates for Argentina's wheat crop (Argentina generally supplies most of Brazil's imported wheat) has led to rising domestic wheat prices in Brazil. If this trend continues, wheat production would be a very attractive alternative to safrinha corn and farmers in Parana could decide to increase their wheat acreage again in 2014 at the expense of safrinha corn acreage.