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May 2, 2019

The State of Mato Grosso leads Brazil in Cattle Production

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

Outside of Brazil, the state of Mato Grosso is famous for its huge production of soybeans and corn. Inside of Brazil, the state is famous for not only being the number one producer of soybeans, corn, and cotton, but also for having the largest cattle herd in Brazil.

According to the Brazilian Association of Meat Exporting Industries (Abiec), three of the top 10 municipalities in Brazil with the largest cattle herd are located in Mato Grosso. The three are the municipality of Caceres in southwestern Mato Grosso, Vila Bela da Santissima Trindade in western Mato Grosso, and Juara in central Mato Grosso.

At the end of 2018, the state of Mato Grosso had approximately 30 million head of cattle, which represented 13.9% of Brazil's total cattle herd. Mato Grosso also has the most pastureland of any state in Brazil at 21 million hectares, which represents 23% of the state's land area of 90,335,000 hectares (223 million acres, which is more than 6 times larger than the state of Illinois). The state with the second most hectares of pastureland is Minas Gerais with 18 million hectares.

In 2018, there were 44.2 million head of cattle slaughtered in Brazil, which was an increase of 6.9% compared to 2017. The total beef production in Brazil in 2018 surpassed 10 million tons with 20.1% going into the export market and 79.6% destined for the domestic market. The per capital consumption of beef in Brazil in 2018 was 42 kilograms (92.4 pounds).

Farmers in Mato Grosso also produce sugarcane for ethanol and sugar production. The sugarcane acreage in the state increased 0.9% in 2018/19 to 228,000 hectares, which represented approximately 4% of Brazil's total sugarcane acreage. Since most of the sugarcane in the state was used for ethanol production, the state only produced 370,500 tons of sugar in 2018/19, which was down 40% from the prior year. Sugar production in Mato Grosso represented on 1.3% of Brazil's total sugar production in 2018/19.