Drought and Lack of Technology Lower Expectation of Brazil’s Harvest

Brazil expects to produce 122.6 million tons of grain in the 2005/2006 agricultural year, a 7.6% increase in relation to the previous harvest.

This estimate, which represents the first supplemental survey of the present harvest, was announced Monday, March 20, by the National Supply Company (CONAB). It is 1.8 million tons (1.5%) lower than the previous estimate of 124.4 million tons.

According to CONAB president Jacinto Ferreira, this decrease reflects climatic adversities, especially in the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, and Paraná, and the scanty application of technology.

"We detected losses due to drought, especially in beans (Bahia), corn (Minas Gerais), and soybeans (Paraná), where there was an outbreak of rust."

The biggest drop in the estimated crop was for beans: 13.9%, equivalent to 184.3 thousand tons. For corn, the estimated loss was 2.9%, or 957.7 thousand tons. For soybeans, 1.7%, or 968.4 thousand tons.

Pereira affirmed that there is no risk of short supplies of these grains in Brazil. "Wheat is the only product that concerns us, because of the competition with Argentina. However, Brazil should import a substantial quantity to complement domestic production," he informed.

Agência Brasil

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