Climate impacts are a major concern for coffee growers

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The year 2024 for coffee growers in Minas Gerais holds great challenges, mainly due to the lack of rain in the flowering season last year and rain at the beginning of 2024. The analysis is by the agronomist and state coordinator of Emater-MG, Willem de Araújo, who adds that Climatic factors have harmed, in recent years, the performance of coffee growing in the largest producing state in Brazil.

“There was a lack of rain in the producing regions during the flowering season last year. And crops are still recovering from the 2021 frost. Due to these factors, production in 2024 will be lower than expected, frustrating a larger harvest in Minas Gerais”, explains the specialist from the state technical assistance and rural extension company.

The estimated production for the Brazilian coffee harvest in 2024 is 58.08 million bags of processed beans, 5.5% above the 2023 harvest, confirming expectations for the year of a positive biennial of the coffee crop. In Minas Gerais, the outlook is more cautious, with a predicted increase of just 0.6% in production, which is expected to reach 29.18 million bags. The numbers are from the 1st Coffee Harvest Survey of the year, which was released by the National Supply Company (Conab) on January 18th.

Coffee growing in Minas Gerais is expected to feel the effects of the strong heat waves recorded in October and November last year in 2024. “This period of intense heat coincided with the flowering and flower setting phase, and with the beginning of the formation of fruits (chumbinhos). The weather phenomenon caused low flower set, fruit and even leaf fall”, reports Araújo. But the Emater-MG coordinator emphasizes that, only starting this month of February, will it be possible to more accurately assess the impacts of the bad weather in recent months on the state’s crops.

According to Conab’s most recent harvest estimate bulletin, in negative biennial cycles, starting in 2023, producers tend to carry out more intense cultural treatments on crops. And there have been productivity gains, with technological improvements in the national coffee sector.

However, in Minas Gerais, the scenario is still not as favorable as in other producing states, as the expert explains: “It’s because in 2023 the scenario was very bad. In addition to the intense heat waves during flowering time, the price of fertilizers was very high, which harmed investments in maintaining coffee plantations.”

Rain now

Another factor of concern for coffee growers in Minas Gerais is the rainy season at the beginning of the year. With intense and constant rainfall, the risk of spreading fungal diseases increases. “With persistent rain, there is an increase in humidity and, as it is summer, with higher temperatures, this favors the occurrence of diseases such as rust, which causes plants to defoliate. Furthermore, rains also delay cultural practices such as fertilization, which can lead to an increase in fruit and leaf fall, during the period of greatest demand for nutrients by the plant”, details the state coordinator of Emater-MG.

He warns that constant monitoring of pests and diseases is one of the strategies to minimize the possible effects of adverse weather conditions, as well as carrying out foliar analyzes to check the levels of macro and micronutrients in plants, and, consequently, guide supplementation to ensure the health of crops. (With information from Emater-MG)

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Climate impacts major concern coffee growers

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