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Despite Drought Brazil Gets Second Best Crop in History

September 21st, 2009

rice_brazilFarmers in Brazil produced 134.8 million tons of grain in the 2008/2009 crop. This is the second best result ever in the country, surpassed only by the previous crop, when 144.1 million tons were harvested. The survey, which covers the cycle ranging from August 2008 to July this year, was disclosed by the National Food Supply Company (Conab).

According to the company, the two cultures that yield the highest volumes – soy (57.1 million and tons) and corn (50.1 million tons) – were harmed by the drought that took place in the Mid-South of the country, affecting productivity chiefly in the states of Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso do Sul.

That led to a 6.8% drop in output in comparison with the 2007/2008 crop, despite the 0.6% increase in planted area, which totaled 47.4 million hectares. Soy and corn accounted for 75% of that area.

According to the Conab, even though it hampered soy and corn production, the drought ended up favoring rice farming in Rio Grande do Sul, which had a record-high yield, having gone from 6,902 kilograms to 7,150 kilograms per hectare.

During the entire crop cycle, farmers claimed that one of the reasons for the lower harvest was delay by the government in clearing financing for the rural sector. One of the main problems diagnosed was that banks were slow to clear the loans.

Being aware of that, this year, before the official launch of the 2009/2010 crop, the National Monetary Council has already announced the requirements that financial institutions must meet.

The last edition of the 2008/2009 crop output survey was conducted by Conab technicians between August 17th and 21st. Information was taken from farmers, agronomists, technicians from cooperatives, agriculture secretariats, financial agents, and technology assistance and rural extension technicians from the country’s leading producing regions.


Written by Danilo Macedo

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