Fair weather and bigger demand for food from overseas should contribute for Brazil's grain crop that started in August and should last until late July next year to exceed the previous one by up to 6.5 million tons.
The first survey of the 2009/2010 cycle – carried out by the National Food Supply Company (Conab) and disclosed October 7 – estimates a harvest of between 139 million and 141.6 million tons, growth of between 2.9% and 4.8% compared with the 135.1 million tons harvested in the previous crop.
The increase in production is a consequence of the recovery of productivity, taking into consideration that planted area should range from 47.35 million to 48.06 million hectares, a variation of between -0.7% and 0.7% compared with the 2008/2009 cycle, when drought in southern Brazilian states led to significant losses, particularly in corn and soy cultures.
"We are not expecting to have as many weather-related issues as we did last year. This helps to place Brazil closer to the record-high figure of 144.1 million tons," said the president of the Conab, Wagner Rossi, in a press release.
To him, the low market price of corn should lead some of the farmers to replace the grain with soy crops, which may see record-high output.
The Conab estimates that the planted area for soy should grow between 2.6% and 4.2% and may total 22.65 million hectares, nearly half the planted area for grain. The average productivity should increase by 6.3%, totaling 2,794 kilograms per hectare and generating a harvest of between 62.26 million and 63.27 million tons, growth of up to 10.8%.
The survey was conducted from September 14th to 18th in the South, Southeast and Midwest regions of Brazil. In the North and Northeast regions, planting starts in December, therefore the Conab used data pertaining to the previous crop and average productivity for the past five years, not taking atypical years into account.