May 09, 2022

Winter Wheat Planting Starting in Southern Brazil

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

Farmers in southern Brazil are gearing up to plant their winter wheat to take advantage of strong wheat prices. The southern states of Parana and Rio Grande du Sul account for over 90% of Brazil's total wheat production. Efforts are under way to expand wheat production by increasing irrigated wheat acreage in the cerrado regions of central Brazil during the dry season between May and September.

In the southern state of Parana for example, wheat planting will start on May 15th in the eastern municipality of Ponta Grossa and farmers are planning to increase their wheat acreage. Some farmers who have not planted wheat for several years, are planting it again this year due to the very strong price. The wheat in Parana will be harvested in September and October and then followed by a crop of soybeans.

Even though the cost of production has increased this year due to the high cost of fertilizers and chemicals, farmers are still expecting to make a profit on their wheat. Wheat is the only major crop in Brazil for which the country is not self-sufficient.

Currently, Conab is estimating that Brazilian farmers will plant 2.74 million hectares of wheat (6.76 million acres), which is up 0.3% compared to last year. The average yield is estimated at 2,877 kg/ha (42.8 bu/ac) resulting in a total production of 7.9 million tons, which is up 3.0% compared to last year.

The domestic demand for wheat is estimated at 13.7 million tons, so Brazil will need to import approximately 6.5 million tons of wheat primarily from neighboring Argentina and Uruguay.