November 16, 20111

Soy Yields in Brazil Could Hit 58 bu/ac with Existing Technology

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

The 2010/11 growing season was very good in Brazil and as a result, Embrapa estimates that the nationwide soybean yield last year was 51.7 sacks per hectare or 3,102 kg/ha (45 bu/ac). It was a record yield for Brazil and far superior to the yield obtained by American farmers in 2011.

According to Brazil's Strategic Soybean Committee, which is a non-profit organization that unites soybean researchers and professionals from throughout Brazil, the nationwide soybean yield could hit 66.6 sacks per hectare or 3,996 kg/ha (58 bu/ac) by better utilization of existing technologies while still preserving the environment. This assessment is shared by the federal government who has been promoting more intensive use of existing farmland instead of clearing new land as a way to increase production.

Researchers from Syngenta feel this goal could easily be reached because Brazilian farmers are very receptive to new technologies. As a result, the company plans to launch thirty five new products within the next five years. To get new products to market in Brazil it takes five years and licenses from three different departments - Agriculture, Environment, and Health.

To speed up the development of new products, Syngenta built a new laboratory in Holambra in 2009 and they mapped all the agricultural areas of Brazil with the help of regional research institutes. This is allowing the company to develop specifically geared to the various climatic region of Brazil.

One of the results of this research is a seed treatment individualized for specific regions of the country which might contain one or more of the following treatments: fungicides, nematacides, micronutrients, insecticides, and inoculants. In addition to treating soybean seeds, similar seed treatments have been developed for corn, cotton, wheat, and sunflowers.