July 22, 2022
Brazil is currently harvesting its largest corn crop on record, potentially surpassing 4.5 million bushels. While still less than one-third of the U.S. corn crop, their production has doubled in the last decade. The country’s corn exports have quadrupled in that same time frame, closing the gap between themselves at number two for exports and the U.S. at number one.
The USDA is already projecting an even larger Brazilian crop for next year. I will be there next January between the soybean harvest and the corn planting to go check it out, and you are invited!
Right before the pandemic started in 2020, we hosted a tour of American farmers to Brazil. We visited my family’s farm in Brazil as well as some of the mega operations in Mato Grosso. We visited farms with 50,000 acres of soybeans under cultivation. They had close to 10 combines harvesting in one field at a time. They appeared to harvest what seemed like 80 acres in about ten minutes.
The large farms are impressive, but one of the smaller family farms we visited was just as interesting, perhaps because you are speaking directly to the owners, and you get to meet your competition face-to-face. You get a sense for some of the challenges they faced developing their region.
After you drive around Mato Grosso for a while, you start dreaming about soybeans – as that is all you see. We broke it up with visits to coffee fields, cotton gins, seed suppliers, equipment dealerships and new corn ethanol plants. We even made time for the beach in Rio de Janeiro.
With 150 million acres under cultivation, Brazil still has the capacity to add another 100 million acres into production. That is more than any other place in the world. One of Brazil’s greatest challenges continues to be their infrastructure, specifically getting it to the ports.
Transportation companies have invested heavily in expanding Brazil’s ports. While the country still relies heavily on truck transportation, the wait time at the ports has been reduced. Most of the improvements have been seen in the Northern Arc region of Brazil where nearly one-third of soybeans are exported from Mato Grosso. It is not just a matter of getting crops out, but getting inputs in as well, as 85% of Brazil’s fertilizer is imported.
If you are interested in joining our tour, check out more information at https://www.commstock.com/brazil-farmland-tour/
Matthew Kruse is President of Commstock Investments. He can be reached at 712-227-1110. Subscribe to their market report at www.commstock.com.
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About the Author(s)
President, Commstock Investments
Matthew grew up farming near Royal, Iowa. In 2002 he co-founded an investment company that purchased and operated Brazilian frontier farmland. As Chief Operating Officer he lived and worked in Brazil for nearly 14 years, overseeing production of 22,000 acres of soybeans, corn and cotton. He continues to participate in Brazilian agriculture by providing asset management services for institutional investors. Today Matthew farms in Iowa and Brazil, and holds Series 3, 30, and 31 licenses. He received bachelor’s degrees from Iowa State University in Political Science and Communications, then earned his Executive MBA from Walden University.
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