FOOD FOR THOUGHT
After years of decent yields, Brazilian corn production took a dip last year essentially because of a lack of rain, which hit the grain harvest particularly badly.
As a result, corn production in 2016 was down a quarter on 2015 (25.7% lower) with both the first and second crops taking a hit.
The first crop – grown mainly in the north east of the country and harvested in March and April – representing just under 40% of national production yielded 24.3 million tonnes.
The second crop, which is grown mostly in the centre and south of Brazil and harvested in June/July, yielded just shy of 39 million tonnes.
After three years of consecutive yield records, the 2016 soybean crop was hit too, but not to the same extent. Production was about 96 million tonnes, about 4.5% lower than the 2015 yield despite a 3.2% increase in the acreage sown.
As with the corn crop, drought – particularly in the north east of the country – and the effects of El Niño were responsible for the reduced production.
- Increased plant disease incidence could cause crops to be more susceptible to mould colonization and subsequent mycotoxin production.
- Wetter weather will promote the growth of several mould species.
- If grains are harvested wet and stored damp, this may lead to further mould development and potentially multiple mycotoxin contamination.