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Focus on Winter

In Brazil, Focus Shifts to Winter Weather and Potential Impact on New Coffee Crop

CoffeeNetwork (New York) – Now that the 2018-2019 crop has mostly been factored in to the coffee market, focus will begin to shift to the new 2019-2020 crop and Brazil’s winter weather.

The Alerta Frida (Frost Alert), a service that the Agronomic Institute of Paraná (Iapar) and the Paraná Meteorological System (Simepar) is offering to operate from May to September, will begin tomorrow (May 8), with the objective of helping state producers to decide, based on the severity of frost threat, on the application of techniques to protect the coffee plantations.

During the period of operation of the service, the researchers monitor weather conditions in the coffee region of the state and publish a daily newsletter, available free of charge at , and also by telephone (43) 3391-4500.

If cold air masses with potential to cause damage to the coffee plantations are approached, a pre-alert by e-mail or SMS is also issued to extension agents, technicians and registered producers, as well as to the press and social networks.

If the conditions for the formation of frosts persist, a new notice of ratification shall be issued within 24 hours prior to the expected occurrence of the event.

Last year, there were five waves of intense cold. Only two of them - on June 9 and July 17 - had the strength to cause damage to the coffee trees and justified the issuance of warning notices.

Frost Threat

Sentiment surrounding the upcoming winter is mixed. According to the meteorologist Angela Costa, because El niño and La niña are inactive, the forecast is of a regular winter, with regular rains and cold air masses. However, agro meteorologists from SOMAR have told CoffeeNetwork that the La Niña period is ending and entering into a neutral condition, but with a negative bias (below normal temperatures in Pacific areas, but not sufficient to be a La Niña).

“This may bring more risk of frost,” Marcio Custódio, Director of Operations of Somar Meteorologia said. “In years like this (2012 and 2013, for example), we had cold fronts moving over coffee areas (that bring rain), and because of this, there is more risk of frost, because behind a cold front, we may have a cold air mass.”

Most of the farms in Paraná have an average of 8 hectares and are run by small family farmers. In 2018, the state expects to collect about 1 million bags of coffee.

Alexis Rubinstein