Brazil is expected to harvest 139.3 million tons of grains and oil seeds in the 2007/08 season, up 5.4% over the previous crop helped by limited diseases and the use of gene-modified seeds to grow stronger plants, said Agroconsult a Brazilian agriculture consultant company.
"Agroconsult considers that the high prices for commodities in the international market have influenced a 2.9% increase in the planted area for the 2007/08 crop, particularly soy beans and corn. The production has been confirmed by a normalization of January rainfall all over the country and the control of an outbreak of Asian rust in soy plantations in the center-west."
The Brazilian agriculture scenario was boosted from the second half of 2007 by the high prices for soybeans, corn and wheat in the international market which helped recover the area planted with grains after two years of stagnation.
The 2.9% expansion for areas planted with grains has been from 46.1 million hectares for the 2006/07 crop to 47.5 million hectares in the current harvest 2007/08.
Agroconsult estimates Brazil's soybean production this season in the range of 60.9 million tons, up 4.1% over the 58.5 million tons of 2006/07. The area planted expanded 4,3% from 20.6 million hectares to 21.5 million hectares. However productivity will remain almost unchanged with 2.820 kilos of soy per hectare.
Regarding corn the area for the 2007/08 crop is 9.6 million hectares, up 2.3% over the 9.4 million hectares of 2006/07. Summer corn crop is estimated in 37.9 million tons this harvest compared to the 36.5 million of 2006/07, which represents a 3.7% increase. As to yields it will increase 1.4% to 3.920 kilos per hectare. The second corn harvest will jump 3.2% covering an area of 4.7 million hectares.
In 2007 Florianópolis (capital of southern state of Santa Catarina) based Agroconsult correctly predicted soybean output within 100,000 tons as early as March, five month's before the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry released its final estimate. Soybean prices jumped 84% in the past year.
Three teams of Agroconsult researchers are surveying more than 1,500 soybean and corn farms throughout the country between February 17 and March 1st. The group will release a new forecast based on the crop tours on March 10.