Technology Helps Brazil Get Record Crop Without Expanding Planted Area

Brazilian cotton Brazil's 2007/2008 crop, with 143.87 million tons picked, growth of 9.2% over the previous season, confirms the tendency of growth of agribusiness exports. The National Food Supply Company (Conab) estimates exports of 52.17 million tons of corn, soy, cotton and beans up to the end of the year. Apart from that, analysts say that the country should continue breaking production records.

"The Brazilian crop is going to maintain this tendency of breaking records. Analyzing the results of recent years, the cultivated area grows less than production," said the economist of the Brazilian Rural Society (SRB), André Diz, to whom Brazilian agriculture is gaining in technology, which reflects the growth of production with no need to expand the cultivated area.

According to figures supplied by Conab, corn crops reached 58.59 million tons, growth of 14% over the previous crop. Soy had growth of 2.8%, a percentage that is equivalent to 1.66 million tons.

With regard to wheat, with 3.82 million tons picked, there was growth of 71.2%. According to Diz, these commodities present very high prices on the foreign market, which ends up generating producer interest in dedicating greater areas to the plantation of grain. "Brazil will certainly expand exports of grain," he said.

According to the crop evaluation manager at Conab, Eledon Pereira, exports forecasted by the organization for this year are 25.8 million tons of soy in grain, 13.2 million tons of soy chaff, 10 million tons of corn, 1.12 million tons of soy oil and 520,000 tons of cotton lint.

"Conab had already announced this growth early this year, and this is just confirmation of our export forecast," he said.

Currently, soy, corn and rice farming represents 90% pf grain production in Brazil. "The soy complex is the export cash cow," stated the market management technician at the Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives (OCB), Marcos Matos. According to him, the appreciation of commodities on the foreign market also reflected in a record crop.

However, Matos says that, despite the growth and the good conditions of Brazilian production, the country faces logistics problems to ship abroad. "Brazil has all possible chances to consolidate itself as the main exporter, but we must look ahead," said the technician, who pointed out several critical points internally, like queues in ports, poor highways, high production costs and a heavy tax burden.

From January to July, exports of corn, soy, beans and cotton have already reached US$ 13.29 billion. The main buyers from Brazil are China and India. The agribusiness trade balance, in this period, totaled US$ 40.11 billion in exports.

Anba

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