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Brazilian Farm Life 10/04/19: Brazil by Brazil

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Brazilian Farm Life 10/04/19: Brazil by Brazil

The global community and president Bolsonaro, of Brazil, are facing off regarding whether or not the nation’s agriculture is environmentally acceptable. Bolsonaro’s speech at the UN expresses his clear views and is fully aligned with his campaign promises. The Brazilian federal government is working hard to change global perception. The marketing campaign they launched is titled Brazil By Brazil. I’ve been asked by Brazilian farmers to share this video with you. You can also, visit the website at www.brazilbybrazil.com.

The dilemma Brazilian agriculture faces is the same it has faced for the past several decades. The world needs Brazil to produce food, and the international community is uncomfortable with this reality from an environmental standpoint. What has changed this year, is the stance of the government. The current Brazilian government maintains that Brazilian agriculture is ahead of most developed countries environmentally, and thus, has no need to do more than what it is already doing. Instead of appeasing environmental concerns with rhetoric, Bolsonaro desires to clarify facts and convince the global community that, in reality, Brazilian agriculture does a good job environmentally. For example, while 17.9% of the territory of the lower 48 states in the USA are used for cropland, only 7.8% of the Brazilian territory is used for agriculture. Stated another way, the USA uses more than twice as much of its land for farming than Brazil does.

 

Regardless of who wins the perception battle, it may have consequences for global ag business. At one extreme, if Brazil loses, they can have increased difficulties exporting to European countries and other developed nations. At the other extreme, if Brazil wins, their agricultural growth and development can continue advancing spurred on by global support. Changing global perception on Brazilian agriculture and environment is an uphill battle. But, I would be cautious about saying it is impossible. Not too long ago, it seemed impossible for Bolsonaro to get elected, and here we are.

 

Now for a crop update. Planting season is underway in Brazil. Rains are hit and miss. No concerns for yields yet, but we are monitoring conditions closely. Many farmers face the following conditions. They dig down in their fields and find barely enough moisture for beans to germinate and hopefully pop out of the ground. However, steady rains are only expected later in October. They ask themselves; “Do I plant now? Should I wait for steady rainfall then fight wet conditions at planting? How much should I care about the calendar?” Most continue to wait or run slowly. Planting is behind last year, but not yet late. Brazil would typically be about 3% planted by now, and they are closer to 1%.

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