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August 23, 2011

Cooperative in Parana Expects Less Soy and More Corn in 2011/12

The state of Parana is the number one corn producing state in Brazil and as farmers are preparing for the 2011/12 growing season, they are expected to plant more corn and less soybeans compared to last growing season. That is the opinion of Aroldo Gallassini, president of the Coamo Cooperative, which is the largest in Latin America. The cooperative has 23,000 members concentrated in Parana, Santa Catarina, and Mato Grosso do Sul.

Agronomists from Coamo estimate that members of the cooperative will plant 1.62 million hectares of soybeans in 2011/12 (1.1% less than last year) and 187,300 hectares of corn (11% more than last year). Combining the two crops, the total acreage for the two crops is nearly identical to last year. Most members of the Coamo Cooperative have long ago converted all their land into row crop production so they do not have "new lands" to bring into production. Since soybeans and full-season corn compete for the same acreage, they decide which crop to plant, either soybeans or corn, based on market conditions. The current market conditions favor corn over soybeans.

Full season corn acreage in Parana has declined two years in a row, but that trend will probably be reversed this growing season due to strong corn prices and the desire to rotate some of their soybean acreage.

If their current acreage estimate verifies, even with a 11% increase in corn acreage, the cooperative members are still going to plant almost six times more soybean acres than corn acres.