Coffee producers in Brazil yet again find themselves beset against weather conditions threatening their crops. As reported by Reuters, for much of last week, frost hit the southeastern portion of Brazil, affecting coffee, sugarcane, potatoes, corn, beans, and tomatoes.” And while the corn crop appears to be hit the hardest, coffee growers in the affected region state they have suffered not insignificant losses.
Starting on Tuesday, June 29th, and going through much of the week, frost fell in agricultural areas in “the west and north of Sao Paulo state, the Minas Gerais triangle, the southwest of Goias, and some areas of southern Minas Gerais state,” per Reuters. Already suffering from losses due to draught, the frost most deleterious effect was on the corn crop, reducing output by an estimated 6 million tons.
Though not experiencing as widespread an effect as corn, coffee producers, particularly those in parts of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, expect losses due to the frost and cold. This frost comes almost two years to the day since the last significant cold snap hit coffee farmers in Brazil. Anivair Teles Rodrigues, a producer and leader of a local farmers union, tells Reuters that the weather affected somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 hectares, which he estimates will result in a 20% to 25% loss in yield.
The frost has caused the coffee trees to discolor, turning brown and black, and this will be felt by more than just this year’s harvest. Much in the way leaf rust affects coffee trees, the frost renders the leaves incapable of capturing any sunlight, keeping the trees from getting the resources they need to grow and produce. There is concern that the frost will have damaged the sprouts, limiting the trees’ flowering and ability to produce next harvest.
Similar reports of potential losses have been reported in other areas of Brazil, with many of the regions still evaluating the losses.
This story is developing…
Top image via Paranaíba Agora