Nov 06, 2023

Low Yields and Poor Quality for Wheat in Rio Grande do Sul

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

Most of the soybeans in the state are planted after the winter wheat is harvested, but the wet conditions are slowing the wheat harvest. Emater estimates that 58% of the wheat has been harvested and that 40% of the wheat is maturing and 2% is filling grain. Wheat yields are disappointing and the quality of the wheat has been negatively impacted by the wet weather.

Persistent wet and cloudy weather during September and October interfered with the wheat development and led to increased pressure from diseases such as wheat blast and gibberella. The poorest quality wheat is being rejected by millers and will only be used for animal rations. Some farmers even harvested the wheat for silage instead of for grain.

In the municipality of Carazinho in northern Rio Grande do Sul, wheat yields are disappointing and the quality is poor. According to the president of the Rural Union of Carazinho/RS, the region has received 1,200 mm of precipitation during the wheat growing season (48 inches). The cloudy days without sunlight impacted the wheat development and increased disease pressure.

Recent yields have been in the range of 20 to 30 sacks per hectare (18 to 26 bu/ac) and farmers are being discounted at the grain elevator due to poor quality. Millers are paying premiums for high-quality wheat, but unfortunately, there is little high-quality wheat available.