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Brazilian ag very optimistic
Beans maturing well
In southern Brazil, the soybean crop is maturing very well. This field, near Cascavel, in Parana state, has received plenty of rain and is putting on numerous pods. You can tell by the rich, green color, the expected record production of 14.0 million metric tons is on track to be reached. Harvest will get underway in a few weeks.
Nelson Paludo, (second to left) is a market and crop consultant in Toledo, Parana. He says 7% of the 80,000 farmers in his state have computers. Of those, he consults with 900 of them on marketing their crop. He is working with a telephone company to get mobile market information to his clients. "Farmers are seeking more and more help with marketing and market-type information.
50 bags per hectare
In this area of southern Brazil, the Toledo farmers planted 75,000 hectares of soybeans this year. This field will be ready for harvesting soon. The average yield, in this area, is expected to be 50 bags per hectare. If realized that would be 225,000 metric tons below a year ago. However, rains continue to fill out not-yet mature soybeans.
Paludo visits with me about Parana's 'Safrinha' corn crop (2nd-season crop). Though wheat acres have dropped 20%, moving to corn, the Safrinha corn crop is seen lower this year. Mainly, the wetter planting season delayed farmers too long to be able to get the second corn crop in.
Paludo checks a strong-looking soybean crop near Toledo, Parana. Paludo says more and more farmers are adopting precision farming techniques. "John Deere planters and combines, with the new technology, are selling rapidly. Brazil's farmer is realizing precise equipment is helping with increased yields."
Price fertilizer in advance
Leandro Leonardi is a producer and crop consultant in the state of Parana. Leonardi says this 'Safrinha' corn crop is showing balanced nutrient management. This corn crop was planted forty days ago. At hip-high, planted in soil considered to be the best in Brazil, the seed population was pushed to 65,000 plants per acre. "Like the U.S., farmers are learning to price fertilizer needs in advance," Leonardi says.
Over five days, 160,000 people will attend this show. And, visitors from 12 countries will be here including groups from the U.S. In general, the farmers' attitudes are joyful, with a booming Brazilian economy, favorable farm prices and an expected record soybean crop.
New Monsanto trait
While at the farm show in Cascavel, Brazil, Monsanto unveiled a new Bt trait for soybeans to help fight worms. The worms are responsible for most damage done to this country's soybeans. Intacta Roundup Ready-2 will be commercially available in two years.
Also at the farm show, I spoke with Andre Dias, Monsanto's president in Brazil. Dias says weed resistance is a hot topic amongst farmers right now. "We are working with farmers to help them use chemicals the right way." This year in Brazil, three-fourths of all soybeans in the ground are Roundup Ready. Dias says the company continues to believe the RR technology fee helps increase the value of the farmers' crop.
Healthy corn crop
This photo shows the health of the Cascavel, Parana area corn crop. Notice the ears are nearly filled to the tip, indicating sufficient moisture. Farmers that have this type of Syngenta seed, near the farm show location, are expected to see higher-than-normal yield. This corn is single-stacked Bt seed, double-stacked has been planted for the first time this year, the company representative says.
I visited with Raony de Araujo, a Syngenta seed technician, about the corn on display at the farm show. He says this plot was planted on October 19 with a 130-140 day growing period. The ears measured 22 rows around with 8.00" grain length. The corn was showing 'dent' stage maturity.
I found that Brazilian farmers are excited about crop potential and prices. Oilson Miguel Vargas, a Cascavel farmer, with 1,800 acres, shared that he purchased a tractor and combine at this year's farm show. "It's a dream come true to have these high crop prices to purchase new equipment that has the top-of-the-line yield monitors and precision farming attachments," Vargas says.
Dilvo Grolli, the Show Rural Coopavel president, said after a 1998 visit to a U.S. farm show, he decided to design this Brazilian show with a technology theme. Pictured is a Trimble monitor 'set-up'. This is just one of many company booths displaying the latest in farm technology.
The Brazilian crop is maturing very well, Mike McGinnis reports from the field.