Jun 22, 2021

Embrapa Promotes Wheat Production in the Brazilian Cerrado

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

Brazilian farmers can only produce about half of Brazil's domestic wheat needs, but researchers in Brazil are working to change that scenario. Currently, about 88% of Brazil's wheat is produced in the three southern states of Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, and Santa Catarina. Those three states are expected to plant 2.3 million hectares of wheat in 2021 (5.68 million acres) and Brazil's total wheat production in 2021 is expected to be 6.7 million tons.

The potential to expand wheat acxreage in southern Brazil is limited due to competition for acreage from safrinha corn and other small grains. Therefore, any expansion of wheat acreage will have to be in the cerrado regions of central Brazil.

The Brazilian agricultural research service, Embrapa, along with the Agriculture and Livestock Confederation of Brazil (CNA), held a joint meeting last week to discuss how to significantly increase wheat production in the cerrado region of central Brazil.

Their goal is to have 100,000 hectares of wheat production in the cerrado region by 2023 (247,000 acres). The focus of their efforts will be the states of Bahia, Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and the Federal District.

The head of Embrapa's Wheat Division laid out the main activities they will focus on including producing enough seed to achieve the proposed expanded area of topical wheat, transferring the technology needed to produce dryland and irrigated wheat, government assistance for tropical wheat production, and strengthening the research and technology transfer for the production of tropical wheat.

If Brazil could expand wheat production in the cerrado to 100,000 hectares, it would reduce Brazil's importation of wheat from Argentina and Paraguay by R$ 450 million.