Brazil Emerges as Major Export Competition

Brazil, the largest county in South America with one of the most rapidly developing economies in the world, is quickly emerging as a major competitor to the US agriculture sector, particularly the severely damaged grain industry.

For the past several months, US farmers have been locked in the grip of a severe, ongoing drought. With more than 1,000 counties having been declared federal disaster areas and with more than 1/5 of the country still experiencing severe to extreme drought, crop production, particularly corn production was devastated.

With American production lagging, Brazilian planters are taking advantage of the lack of US produce. Brazilian corn exports have increased from zero in 2010, to more than $10 million this year. In addition, Brazil is set to replace the United States as the largest producer of soybeans.

In addition to US weather concerns, Brazilian production is being boosted by increasingly global American production. Major US companies that rely on agriculture (ranging from John Deere to Kellogg’s) have built factories in Brazil to take advantage of what is increasingly becoming a major farm boom.

With American farmers currently exploring ways to maximize crop yields and production and with Brazilian farmers just beginning to tap into their potential, much of the conventional wisdom foresees Brazil as the next major agricultural superpower.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer