October 5, 2015

Frost and Wet Weather Result in Lower Brazilian Wheat Production

Freezing temperatures earlier in September resulted in damage to Brazil's 2015 wheat crop. In the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil, the Federation of Agricultural and Livestock Cooperatives In Rio Grande do Sul (Fecoagro) surveyed 42 cooperatives in the state and the consensus is that the 2015 wheat production will be 1.9 to 2.0 million tons compared to their initial estimate of 2.4 to 2.5 million tons (-20%).

When the freezing temperatures hit on September 12th and 13th, 80% of the wheat crop in the state was either flowering or in early grain development. Subsequent damage has also occurred due to excessive rainfall. The state extension service (Emater) is not as pessimistic and they are estimating the losses at 10%. Farmers are concerned that additional losses may still occur due to poor seed quality caused by the forecast of excessive rainfall over the next few weeks.

Farmers in the state started to harvest some of their earlier planted wheat last week and they are reporting good yields and good seed quality, but the earlier planted wheat was approaching maturity when the freezing temperatures hit and thus suffered little damage. Unfortunately, the earlier planted wheat only represents a small percentage of the entire crop.

The state of Parana is the largest wheat producing state in Brazil and the Secretary of Agriculture in the state is estimating that the wheat production in the state will also be down by 10% to 3.6 million tons due to the cold temperatures and earlier excessive rains in June. Combined these two states account for 90% of Brazil's wheat production. Conab will release their most recent estimate of the wheat crop later this week.