Jul 29, 2021

Conab Monitoring Frost Damage in Southern Brazil

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

A third wave of cold temperatures is sweeping across southern Brazil this week resulting in freezing temperatures and additional crop damage. The temperatures this week are expected to be some of the coldest thus far this year.

Conab is issuing a series of weekly reports called "Monitoring the Frosts" in order to evaluate the impact of the repeated frosts/freezes on crops in southern Brazil. Their latest report was issued on Tuesday, July 27th and it looked at safrinha corn, winter wheat, coffee, and sugarcane.

Safrinha Corn - The safrinha corn had already been severely impacted by late planting and a historic drought during most of its development. Additional damage resulted from two waves of freezing temperatures in late June and July. The coldest temperatures of the season are forecasted for Thursday, July 29, and Friday, July 30. The most severe damage is expected for the late-planted safrinha corn in the states of Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo. The development of the corn was cut short during pollination and grain filling and farmers are reporting that the corn is not drying down enough for harvesting. In addition to lower yields, the quality of the grain is expected to be very poor.

Wheat - Frosts are negatively impacting the most advanced wheat in Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo that is currently flowering, which is a very sensitive stage of development for wheat. The wheat further north in central Brazil continues to be impacted by drought. Wheat in Rio Grande do Sul is still in vegetative development and has not been negatively impacted by the freezing temperatures, at least not yet. The extent of the damage to the wheat is still being evaluated. Parana is the largest wheat producing state in Brazil followed by Rio Grande do Sul.

Coffee - The current coffee crop is approximately 60% harvested and the crop was negatively impacted by a prolonged drought. The frosts are not expected to significantly impact the current crop, but many coffee trees have been killed and the 2021/22 coffee crop is expected to be significantly impacted.

Sugarcane - The frosts have significantly impacted the sugarcane crop in south-central Brazil by burning off many of the leaves. The total amount of damage is still being determined. The crop had already been hurt by a historic drought and sugarcane producers are rushing to harvest the damaged crop as soon as possible to avoid further deterioration of the crop and to stimulate the regrowth of the sugarcane.

It has already been an extremely harsh "winter season" in southern Brazil and there may be additional damage to the crops if there are more waves of freezing temperatures.