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August 30, 2012

Farmers in Rio Grande do Sul to Increase Soybean Acreage 6%

Farmers in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil are following the same trend as the rest of the country by reducing their corn acreage in favor of additional soybean production. Record high soybean prices and a continued strong export demand have convinced farmers in the state to increase their soybean production. The increased soybean acreage will come not only from lower corn acreage but also from lower rice and dry bean acreage in addition to the conversion of pastureland to additional soybean production.

According to Emater (the state extension service), the 2012/13 soybean acreage in the state is expected to increase 258,000 hectares to 4.4 million hectares or an increase of 6.2%. If achieved, it would be another record soybean acreage for the state. An estimated 150,000 hectares of new soybean production will come from reduced rice planting and the conversion of pastureland to soybean production. The remaining increases will come from reduced corn and dry bean acreage.

After a disastrous corn crop in 2011/12 due to a severe drought, corn acreage in the state is expected to decline 5.5% to 1.05 million hectares. Dry bean acreage in the state has been declining since the mid-1990's and it is expected to decline again in 2012/13 by 6% to 55,350 hectares.

If the weather cooperates this growing season, Emater is estimating that the state will produce 11.3 million tons of soybeans and 5.0 million tons of corn.