Frosts were observed in Brazil’s sugarcane, coffee, and maize sectors on Wednesday, according to experts and weather organisations, as the country experienced very cold temperatures from Rio Grande do Sul in the south to So Paulo in the north.
In a letter to customers on Wednesday, Rural Clima meteorologist Marco Antonio dos Santos stated, “It has been a long time since we experienced this sort of frosts in Brazil.”
Frosts ravaged coffee fields in Paraná, a lesser producer, as well as some coffee harvests in So Paulo, Brazil’s second-largest arabica producer after Minas Gerais.
There were also reports of frost on sugarcane fields in So Paulo, a state that produces more than 60% of the country’s sugar.
“The damage on sugarcane is more severe (than on coffee in Sao Paulo),” said Celso Oliveira, a meteorologist at Somar, naming Ribeiro Preto as one of the impacted sugar regions.
Corn losses from frost are impossible to predict at this time, as cold weather is expected to remain in Paraná, Brazil’s second-largest producer of the crop, according to weather experts. Corn, on the other hand, is set to suffer more losses.
“Atmospheric conditions in virtually all parts of the state remain favourable for the development of frosts,” stated Simepar, the Paraná meteorological service.
In the case of sugarcane, the cold weather may hasten harvesting as mills strive to avoid losses by starting crushing earlier, according to Somar’s Oliveira.
“When cane is struck by frosts, it stops growing, lowering the sugar level,” Oliveira explained. “As a result, mills harvest before the optimal period,” he explained.
Minas Gerais, Brazil’s biggest coffee-producing state, is expected to be spared, according to analysts.
The arctic air mass is still moving into Brazil’s central regions, and additional frosts are predicted on Thursday.