The Brazilian government statistical bureau, IBGE, reports that the 2004 grain harvest in Brazil reached 120.5 million tons, down 3.65%, compared to 2003.
The IBGE says that the main reason for the smaller harvest was the weather – especially a severe drought in southern Brazil.
The biggest drop in production was in corn, down 13.5%. Soy was down 4.6%, even though the area planted had actually risen over 16%.
The IBGE explains that with corn and soy accounting for over three-fourths of Brazil grain production in 2004, the drop was inevitable.
However, there were bright spots in the 2004 harvest. Cotton production rose over 72%, and there was a sharp rise in production of castor-oil plant, up almost 65%.
The jump in castor-oil plant is explained by incentives the government is providing for its cultivation as it will be used as an additive in biodiesel.