Brazilian Farm Life 09-27-19: Mato Grasso Wheat & Planting Beans

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Brazilian Farm Life 09-27-19: Mato Grasso Wheat & Planting Beans

U.S. soybean farms have grown accustomed to watching Brazil’s production.  Brazilian wheat production, on the other hand, has not been of global relevance historically. This may be changing. The lion-share of Brazil’s wheat production takes place in the southern part of the country, but this only covers about half of the nation’s demand. Almost half of Brazil’s wheat is imported and much of it comes from neighboring Argentina.

For many years, experiments with raising wheat in Mato Grosso have been underway. During the dry season, after double crop corn, Mato Grosso temperatures tend to be in the 80s with very dry weather. This year, an influential farming operation has raised a wheat variety, under irrigation, which yielded over 70bu/acre with suitable protein content. At this level, it is economically viable. Plans for a Mato Grosso flour mill are underway. From the standpoint of scale, picture discovering that an area the size of the US corn-belt can profitably raise wheat under irrigation at a time of year that does not compete with the regular growing season. Brazil is a long way from being a global force in wheat, but US wheat farmers may want to keep an eye on Brazil, just like soybean farmers have learned to do.brazil

On that note, Brazil has gotten much-needed rains! Southern Brazil has started planting soybeans. At the beginning of the week, the state of Paraná had only planted about 50,000 acres. This is 4% of what was planted at this time last year. All the same, I talked to an input salesman down there who said they aim to be about 80% done by October 10th. Seed treatment facilities are working full force to keep the folks in the field serviced. Planting south of Paraná is also underway.

Further north, in Central Brazil, most are waiting for better soil moisture before planting. Scattered showers in the heartland of Brazil’s soybean production area have been refreshing, but planting is limited to those with irrigation. Though planting is slightly behind last year, it is getting started without reason for concern. We’ll keep you posted on developments.

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