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Brazilian Orange Farmers

Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter of coffee, sugar and orange juice, faces a major problem this season.

The Country  just had a rainy season that brought hardly any rain.

Soils are parched.

River levels are so low in the nation’s Center-South region, a powerhouse of agricultural output.

The drought is so severe.

There’s lack of water everywhere and plants are drying in mass.

Farmers are worried as they’ll run out of the water reserves.

…that help keep crops alive over the next several months, the country’s dry season.

Mauricio Pinheiro, 59, started irrigating his arabica-coffee crops in March, two months earlier than normal.

He came to this decision after his 53-hectare (131-acre) plantation got less than half of the rain it needed.

Currently, he’s using so much water for the plants, that there isn’t enough left for his home.

In order to keep the showers and faucets running, he’s had to search for another well.

“My irrigation reservoir is drying up. now — that usually happens in August,” said Pinheiro, who lives in Pedregulho in the Alta Mogiana region, in Sao Paulo state.

“I’m really concerned about running out of water in the coming months.”

The prospect of withering orange trees and coffee plants is Real.

It is coming at a time when agricultural crops are rallying to multiyear highs, which has fanned fears of food inflation.

Higher food costs may exacerbate hunger.

…a problem around the globe that the Covid-19 pandemic has made more acute.

Coffee and raw-sugar contracts on the ICE Futures exchange in New York have already touched four-year highs.

If even irrigated areas can’t get enough water, Brazil’s coffee and orange output may decline for a second year in a row.

Brazil’s current orange crop shrunk 31% from the previous season, the most in 33 years, and production of arabica coffee, the high-end kind used by chains like Starbucks Corp., is also dropping sharply.

Brazil January-April 2021 rainfall compared with 2006-2020 average Rainfall […]

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