Farmers Make Less But Production Is Up in Brazil

Brazil’s  National Supply Company (Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento) (Conab) has just released its third report on the 2005/2006 grain harvest.

Although the report shows that the total amount of cropland will decrease 4.3%, compared to the last harvest, there will be a 9.3% increase in total production, reaching 124.4 million tons, an increase of 10.5 million tons over the 2004/2005 grain harvest.

It is expected that this year the Central-West and South regions will have big harvests of soy and corn, after serious problems last year with drought.

Brazilian farmers reduced their cropland this year because they had a bad time last year, says the Conab president, Jacinto Ferreira.

Among farmer problems were an unfavorable exchange rate, nasty weather and, the result of the other problems, less income.

"By planting on less land it is possible that farmers will recover their losses and expand cropland next year," says Ferreira.

Rice and Cotton

The biggest decreases in cropland in Brazil will be in cotton, down 30%, or less some 353,300 hectares, and rice, down 20%, or 782,400 hectares.

The estimates are from the Conab and are part of its third regular survey of the agricultural sector. The latest survey was made between January 23 and 27 in 410 municipalities.

The states most affected by the reductions in cotton cropland are Mato Grosso (less 126,400 hectares), Goiás (-74,700 hectares), Paraná (-39,300 hectares) and São Paulo (-37,600 hectares).

Mato Grosso will also have the most significant reduction in rice cropland, down 466,100 hectares, a decrease of 60%.

The Conab also reported that between January and November 2005 a total of over 18 million tons of fertilizers were sold in Brazil. That is down from 22.8 million tons during the same period in 2004.

Conab, which regularly surveys the farm sector, points out that the drop in fertilizer use is the first since 1999.

Agência Brasil

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