Uneven Maturation in Brazil
Updated: May 17, 2019
As we await another high-volume harvest from Brazil, it is important to note the maturation issues of this coming crop. The problems started with substantial climatic issues caused by lack of rain during the flowering and part of the maturation period. This condition made it difficult for the flowers to fix, causing many different flowering periods and resulting in irregular maturations. This provides producers with the tough task of having to calculate what is the best time to start harvesting in order to minimize quality loss.
In the worst-case scenarios, some regions of the South of Minas and Mogiana have trees with the whole spectrum of cherry maturation on the branches: green, mature, raisin and dry (pictured on the yellow bourbon). This can cause the cherries to ferment even before being harvested, or even worse, have a big volume falling on the ground with wind, rain or other factors.
The cerrado region was not so greatly affected by this, since many farms are irrigated and therefore can control a constant supply of water to the trees holding the flowerings.
Another problem is the fact that some beans seem to have grown too fast due to the inconsistent rains, possibly causing malformation of the beans, which can decrease the total volume of whole beans once the coffee has been processed in the dry/wet mills.
Pictures shown below are from isolated points - we can clearly see the maturation differences in the South of Minas, and on the last picture we can see an irrigated farm in the Cerrado region.