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With the drought, grain producers are already responsible for the losses across Brazil

Its national production reached 271.7 million tons, according to Al National Supply Company (Konab)The cereal crop for the year 2020/21 is at risk due to the lack of rain in several regions of the country, and the drought mainly affects the second harvest of corn, beans and wheat. The main crop of soybeans and corn has ended. Even with the record harvest projections, Konap technicians expect a minimum decrease of 2.1 million tons due to the cultivation of corn outside the ideal window, due to the lack of rainfall.

Throughout Mato Grosso do Sol, which is part of Minas Gerais, and most of Parana and southwest of São Paulo, average precipitation was at least 30% less than forecast. We have seen low rainfall in the last 60 days, and the maize crops are already showing significant production losses. I can say that in 40% of the cultivated area I will save half of the expected production. Producer Valder Fries, from Itambi, Parana, said the remainder would be greater than 60%.

According to him, there was little rain in mid-April and other light rains for 15 days, insufficient to improve the soil’s water reserves. The Ministry of Rural Economy in Paraná (Deral) said that many rural producers are already insuring due to losses in their second corn crop, also known as safrinha. In the Abukarana region, rural unions are mobilizing producers to receive insurance.

In the Cabao Bonito region, in the interior of São Paulo, the scarcity of rain is also a concern for farmers. “There has been little rain here, less than in previous years, but there hasn’t been a very strong effect on crops so far. The problem is that the springs are weak to use irrigation, when needed,” said producer Emilio Kenji Okamura.

In southwestern São Paulo, a lack of rain caused the area planted with beans to decrease by 23%. Whoever planted it, faced the problem of drought. Farmer Joao said: “I was expecting to harvest 80 bags (60 kg) per hectare, but I will not reach 40 bags. The grains are starting to develop well, but there was a lack of precipitation during flowering and the pods did not fill as expected.” Floriano, from the municipality of Itapira. The harvest is scheduled to take place in the first half of June.

In Mato Grosso state, according to Conab’s monitoring, lack of rain is already affecting the yield of maize, but crops can still recover if climate is regulated. But the losses at Mato Grosso do Sol are truly irreplaceable. At least 75% of crops are already showing losses, which can become more severe. In the crops of the producer Higino Hernandez, from Rio Verde, the decrease in production exceeded 50%. “Plants in the seed filler and not find moisture in the soil produce small, fine-grained ears,” he said.

In Goiás, in addition to the losses already caused by the lack of rain, the continuing drought is damaging the water supply for irrigation. The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Seapa) advises farmers to store water in tanks and containment ponds. “It rained a lot, but little of it and the water drains more than it seeps into the soil.” The director of irrigated agriculture, Vitor Hugo Antunes, said, “We must make use of this water and use it rationally for irrigation.”