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March 26, 2021

Mato Grosso Soybeans were 5% Conventional (non-GMO) in 20/21

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

While Brazilian farmers are wrapping up their 2020/21 soybean harvest in Mato Grosso, they are also looking forward to the 2021/22 growing season. According to the latest estimates from the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), farmers in the state planted 10.3 million hectares of soybeans (25.4 million acres) with an expected production of 35.7 million tons.

Imea estimates that 5% of the soybean production in the state in 2020/21 was conventional soybeans (non-GMO) and that is expected to increase in 2021/22. According to the President of the Free Soybean Institute (Instituto Soja Livre - ISL), which promotes the use of conventional soybeans, the demand for conventional soybeans was strong this past growing season resulting in premiums paid for conventional soybeans in eastern Mato Grosso in the range of US$ 4 to US$ 5 per sack (approximately $1.80 to $2.25 per bushel).

Most of the conventional soybeans are sold to European customers, but new companies expressed interest in conventional soybeans this year including companies from China. Executives from ISL emphasized that companies need to invest in long term contracts with farmers if they want to insure an adequate supply of conventional soybeans.

A problem for the 2021/22 growing season could be a lack of high quality seed due to excessive rains during this past harvest. Some of the seed producing fields sat in the rain for an extended period of time after the soybeans were mature. As a result, there may be a shortage of high quality conventional soybean seed for planting in the 2021/22 growing season.