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Brazilians Ready Planters for New Soybean Season

Luis Vieira Updated: 09/02/2014 @ 11:28am Agricultural freelance reporter based in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Editor of AgroSouth-news.com

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (Agriculture.com)--It may sound surprising for some in the U.S., but farmers in Brazil will increase the soybean area and expect a new record crop, according to producers attending this week's ag expo in the southern part of the country.

For the 2014/15 crop season that starts this month, Celeres consultancy puts an early forecast of production of 91.35 million tons of soybeans. This would be a 6% hike compared to the current crop.

The soybean area surface, according to Celeres, would increase 3.6% and would reach 77.09 million acres in 2014/2015. "Even though there are fears about the American crop, the good profitability of soybeans in the last seasons, and better earnings compared to other crops like corn will boost an area expansion of the oilseed," Celeres stated in a recent report.

Carlos Cogo, a market analyst from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, also bets on a similar acreage increase. And he forecasts that the corn area would plummet 8.6% in the summer (September-November), while in the second crop there would be a 2.2% jump. “Farmers are not likely to change their plans for the 2014/2015 crop because a big part of the inputs were already purchased,” explained the analyst.

Expointer is one of the largest farm shows in South America, and it is held at this part of the year specifically to offer new technologies to farmers looking for the next summer crop in Esteio, in the greater Porto Alegre area. What is heard from farmers and machinery dealerships just confirms what analysts have said.

The soybean area might increase mostly in the latest agricultural frontiers in the country, and it would be maintained in other traditional areas. In the first months of the year, there was a fall of 20% in agricultural machinery sales from January to June because of fewer subsidized loans of the Brazilian National Bank of Economic and Social Development. From January to April, the bank pumped R$ 3.7 billion (US$ 1.64 billion approximately) for the purchase of agricultural machinery made in Brazil, which is a fall from the R$ 5.7 billion.

Emerson Cavalli is a sales supervisor of Supertratores, a New Holland dealership that serves about a third of the Rio Grande do Sul state. The region served by the dealership is the southern part of the state, an agricultural frontier that has shifted gradually from rice and cattle to soybeans. Cavalli revealed that this lack of loans was not felt in the region, and investments are significant.

"There is a case of a farmer, who is my customer, who purchased six harvesters, two planters, two sprayers, and three tractors in a period of about three crop seasons. Of course, his soybean area jumped from 98 acres to 88,464 acres in the three-year period. He will invest more and more as soybeans continue to bring profits," revealed Cavalli.

Lack of credit drops machinery sales

In other regions, there was a different reality. Toni Ferrarin, executive-president of Agrofel, a New Holland dealership with nine units in the Northwest of Rio Grande do Sul and one in Mato Grosso do Sul, saw difficulties in selling machinery.

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