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May 17, 2018

Winter Wheat Planting off to a slow Start in Southern Brazil

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

Winter wheat planting in southern Brazil is getting off to a slow start due to dry conditions. The wheat planting in the state of Parana started during the second half of April, but it has proceeded at a very slow pace. According to the Department of Rural Economics (Deral), farmers in Parana have planted 7% of their intended wheat acreage, which is 20 points slower than last year at this time.

Parana is the largest wheat producing state in Brazil responsible for approximately 52% of Brazil's intended 2018 wheat acreage. Farmers in the state are expected to plant 1.04 million hectares of wheat and the production is expected to be 2.78 million tons.

The second largest wheat producing state is Rio Grande do Sul where farmers are expected to plant 0.69 million hectares and the production is expected to be 1.3 million tons. Wheat planting has not yet started in the state.

The other two wheat producing states in southern Brazil are Santa Catarina and Sao Paulo, but planting has not started in either state also due to dry conditions.

Brazil's 2018 wheat production is expected to be 4.87 million tons, which would be 14% more than last year's production of 4.23 million tons. Even with this increased production, Brazil will still produce less than half of the domestic demand for wheat.

The 2017 Brazilian wheat crop was negatively impacted by a series of frosts when the crop was in the critical reproductive phase and then by wet weather when the crop was ready for harvest. A significant porting of the crop last year was of such poor quality that it was only suitable for animal rations.