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September 16, 2015

Scientists feel Wheat Production could be Successful in Mato Grosso

Wheat is the only major crop for which Brazil is not self-sufficient and Brazilian scientists have been exploring numerous ways in which to increase wheat production in the country. One of those ways could be irrigated wheat production in Mato Grosso.

At a recent field day held in the city of Novo Mutum, which is located in central Mato Grosso, Brazilian researchers discussed the possibility of producing irrigated wheat during the dry season. The dry season in central Mato Grosso usually starts in May and extends until September, although for the last four years the rainy season has been extended. The wheat would be planted after the soybeans are harvested and would only require irrigation during the grain filling period. Scientists feel suitable wheat production would only occur at elevations of 400 meters or more above sea level.

One of the advantages of wheat production in Mato Grosso would be that the wheat would be harvested before the wheat that is grown in southern Brazil, which should result in higher prices. The wheat grown in Mato Grosso would also not be impacted by wheat blast, which is a disease common in southern Brazil and often responsible for reduced yields.

Currently, the state utilizes 130,000 tons of flower annually and all the flower must be brought in from southern Brazil or imported from neighboring countries. Only two farms in the state produce commercial wheat. One is located in Campo Verde in southeastern Mato Grosso with just 20 hectares of wheat and the other is in Lucas do Rio Verde in central Mato Grosso with 220 hectares.

While wheat production has yet to gain a foothold in Mato Grosso, irrigated wheat production is gaining converts in the state of Goias and in the Federal District where Brasilia is located.

Approximately 200 people attended the discussing and toured the plots which showcased 11 different wheat varieties that could be suited for production in the state. The attendees included extension personnel, university researchers, producers, and industry representatives.