SAO PAULO: Some areas of Brazil’s Parana, Sao Paulo and southern highland parts of Minas Gerais regions saw light frosts due to sub-zero temperatures on Friday, and more could be coming over weekend, according to meteorologists and agronomists.
“This morning, coffee farmers experienced some mild and moderate damage in their fields,” said Jonas Ferraresso, a coffee agronomist who manages farms in Brazil.
“Some sprouts and new leaves with high water content were damaged,” he said, adding that the occurrence was much less serious than the frosts seen last year in Brazil which drove coffee prices to 11-year highs.
Carine Gama, a meteorologist at weather forecaster Climatempo, said that frosts were also reported in grain areas such as the Parana state, a leading corn producer.
“Now that the dry air mass has cleared, the weather is more likely to drop in temperature and cause frost,” said Gama.
Farmers shared pictures of impacted coffee trees, with leaves turned brownish, on social media. “Only some minor burn on outer leaves of a few trees,” said soft commodities analyst Judith Ganes.
“Last year trees had far fewer leaves and the cold was able to penetrate deeper into the tree creating issues for branches and the trunk. Now all the foliage acts as a protective barrier so the trees vascular system is not exposed,” she added.
Climatempo recorded negative temperatures in the states of Minas Gerais and Parana. Near zero temperatures (in Celsius) were seen in Sao Paulo state, a major sugarcane producer. Southern Minas Gerais is a top coffee producer.
“(We had) occasional frosts in lowland regions. It will probably not result in significant impacts on agriculture in general,” said Edmar Gervasio, from Parana’s agriculture department. “We will probably see many reports of frost on corn in the southern region of Parana,” added Marco Antonio dos Santos, a forecaster at weather consultancy Rural Clima.