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News 05.05.2021

Brazil: Low rainfall concerns citrus farmers in São Paulo

With the anticipation of the drought and rainfall below the average in the first quarter of 2021 in São Paulo (SP), the development of the oranges from the 2021/22 season is below the expected, majorly in non-irrigated groves.

Brazil: Low rainfall concerns citrus farmers in São Paulo
(Photo: CEPEA)

With the anticipation of the drought and rainfall below the average in the first quarter of 2021 in São Paulo (SP), the development of the oranges from the 2021/22 season is below the expected, majorly in non-irrigated groves. At the current stage of groves development (fruit enlargement), moisture is crucial, which is warning farmers about the volume to be harvested this season.

So far, it is believed that production will be small, but larger than that in the 2020/21 season (due to the weather in the second semester of 2020 and its effects on flowering and settlement).

Besides the number of fruits, which is not forecast to be high, citrus farmers have been concerned about quality issues that may occur because of low moisture. The top complaints are related to size (since fruits may take longer to reach the ideal size) and wilted oranges (riper fruits), largely pear and early oranges. On the other hand, until the end of April, fruit drop, which may also be worsened by the lack of rain, was not significant, according to farmers.

In order to avoid higher quality loss, some farmers may accelerate the harvesting, even if the oranges have not reached the ideal size and ripening, which may hamper sales and constrain price rises.

INDUSTRIAL YIELD – On the other hand, industrial yield may be favored by the lack of rainfall in citrus-producing regions, since less boxes of oranges may be necessary to produce a ton of concentrated juice.

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