Despite Bad Weather Paraná Keeps Title as Brazil’s Top Grain Producer

Cornfield in Paraná state, Brazil The state of Paraná, in the south of Brazil, should continue to lead national grain production in the 2007/2008 crop, with an estimated harvest of 28.44 million tons. The forecast was taken from the first joint prognosis made by the National Food Supply Company (Conab) and the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

The state is followed by the states of Mato Grosso, which should harvest a total of 24.23 million tons, and of Rio Grande do Sul, with a forecast of 24.18 million tons.

The harmonization methodology for the agricultural production prognosis by Conab and the IBGE started this month, but will be intensified in the coming months.

In the reports disclosed last week, the IBGE forecasts a total production volume of 137.08 million tons of grain in the country, and the Conab forecasts 135.53 million tons of grain.

The forecast of Conab for the three crops of bean planted in Paraná points to a harvest of 707,000 tons. The volume corresponds to a decrease of 11.1% compared with the agricultural year that is ending now, and during which 795.3 million tons were harvested in the state.

The planted area for bean should see a 16.1% reduction, from 563,300 hectares in the 2006/2007 crop to 472,800 hectares in the 2007/2008 crop.

According to Conab, the leading causes for the reduction are the lack of rain, followed by long periods of drought and the low temperatures recorded in late August and in the month of September. “Even with prices at high levels, farmers chose to plant more profitable and less risky cultures, such as corn and soy,” informed the report.

However, the projections indicate that soy production should record a slight decrease due to climate. The harvest should reach 11.75 million tons, a reduction of 1.3% compared with the 2006/2007 crop, when 11.91 million tons were harvested. The planted area for soy is slightly smaller than that of 2006/2007, and should total 3.93 million hectares.

A positive performance is expected for corn. Coupling the two crops forecasted for the 2007/2008 period, the state of Paraná should harvest 13.58 million tons. A total of 1.37 million hectares are being planted on, a 4.3% increase compared with the same period of last year.

Farmers are optimistic about the prices for corn, which were boosted by the growth in poultry raising, pork raising, and exports.

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