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Brazilian wheat excels in genetics

Posted by Marina

Wheat is one of the most cultivated cereals in the world, being the second main crop with 773.4 million tons, about 23% of global grain production. It is only behind corn (36%) and ahead of other important ones such as soy (11%) and rice (15%).

In Brazil the biggest producers are Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná but there is also a presence of the cereal in the Southeast, Midwest and even in the Northeast. National consumption exceeds production, which is why the country imports wheat, much of it from Argentina. Brazil also exports, but at a very low volume. In 2019 it was 0.4 million tonnes. In this harvest, which has barely started, 880 thousand tons are already contracted - the estimate is 1 million tons for export, with a heated price market.

In recent years, technology in wheat farming has evolved through management and high potential seeds. This segment undergoes genetic improvement work and tests that can take from 8 to 10 years to become a commercial variety.

According to Conab, changes in the technological package increased productivity. In 2012 it was 2.4 kg / ha and in 2015 it was 2.9 kg / ha. In the last harvest, the average productivity was 5.7 kg / ha. There are already cultivars on the market with the potential to produce even more than that. Another factor is that indirectly, wheat can increase productivity in the crop to be planted subsequently, such as soybeans.

At Biotrigo Genética, in Passo Fundo (RS), the improvement is meticulous. New cultivars are developed in a reduced time, an average of 6 years until reaching the seed multiplier and validated at more than 54 points in the country in order to adapt to different regions. The varieties seek crop health, productivity, resistance to climate and water stress. “We have to think about the varieties focused on the needs of the mill and the consumer, which are increasingly demanding. We work so that the producer is motivated to plant wheat and have quality, focusing on the needs of the producer. It is also important for the farmer to buy certified seed, because a few years ago wheat was a marginalized crop and, with a lot of investment, today it has the attention it deserves ”, highlights the commercial manager of Latin America, Fernando Wagner.

Source: Agrolink