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Brazilian farming is tropical
Latin America’s largest farmer cooperative has 268,000 members. In Campo Mourao, Parana, located in southern Brazil, a five-day field day is held annually for farmers from three different states.
Research shows that southern Brazil soybean farmers can boost annual revenue by 15%-20% by diversifying into the cattle business. The cattle’s manure increases yield and the meat sales provide extra income. Over 1,000 of the COAMO farmer cooperative have added cattle to their farm operation.
This Italian-Catholic is from a long line of farmers. Arie has 14 brothers that farm throughout Brazil and three sisters. He and his wife have two sons, both of which farm. Arie takes pride in being a career no-till farmer. “I pass over my ground five times a year. Most Brazilian farmers use a no-till practice.” While serving this Crop Expedition crew a traditional Brazilian BBQ, Arie shared that he sees a promising future for the Brazilian farming industry.
When visiting most Brazilian farmers, it’s not uncommon to be asked to stay for dinner. Pictured is a traditional Brazilian barbeque. The meat was delicious, sserved with all of the fixings and a good time was had by all. As the photo indicates, I’m very thankful for the “very southern” hospitality.
Arie, the father, has two grown boys that love to farm in southern Brazil. Both sons are college educated. Keeping informed on the latest news and market information, both sons keep their father on his toes with staying connected by a computer and cell phones. “Neither one of us ever wanted to leave farming,” one son says. The family farm’s crops are sold to a local elevator, a processing plant, and hog and poultry operations.
Arie and his two sons love to raise soybeans. Both understudies say the new farm technology is like a new car for a city boy. “We love the planter monitors, global positioning satellite equipment, and the electronic row markers,” one son says.
Big Sky Country
I wanted to share with you this photo because it illustrates the expanse of Brazil. I swear the sky looks bigger here. Maybe it should be renamed “Big Sky Country.”
7% harvest delay
Mato Grosso, Brazil’s number one soybean-producing state, is experiencing a 7% harvest delay, according to the latest figures from IMEA, a Mato Grosso state agency. Here is an 18-row planter considered to be widely used for the southern state mid-sized farmers. This is a BIA Baldan planter with both capabilities of applying chemical and seed. Bigger planters are used in Mato Grosso, Brazil.
This is the piece of planting equipment that is used fractionally more than the row-planter before. The drill planter is suitable for broadcasting the seed in the large Brazilian fields.
As of the end of January, Mato Grosso, the number one soy-producing state, had only 2.8% of soybeans harvested vs. 9.9% last year. For Parana, 1% of the soy is harvested vs. 17% by the end of February last year. And these Parana farmers will not be getting in the field anytime soon. For corn, Parana farmers had 2% of the corn harvested last year, at this time. They harvested 23%, last year, by the end of February.
Jaime Neitzke, a west-central Parana farmer, says he’s worried about a “bottleneck” harvest. With late-maturing soybeans, the early and late varieties will be harvest-ready about the same time. This can cause infrastructure problems that can ripple throughout the chain process. Neitzke needs to rent a combine this year. “What happens when my neighbors need the same piece of rental equipment? Harvest traffic could snarl.”
Flavio Neitzke, 24, says he and his father are worried about the number of rain events, not the amount that falls. In the past four days, the Neitzke farm received over 4.00 inches of rain. The younger Neitzke also revealed he is helping his father enter into the electronic and technological farming age. “I receive texts from our farmer cooperative,” Flavio says. “Though I don’t receive market information, the cooperative keeps me informed on prices.”
Marketeye reports from the field in the Parana state of southern Brazil.