January 3, 2018
Brazil grain production seen 8% lower in 2017-18 crop season; biotech adoption to rise
Grain and oilseeds production in Brazil during crop season 2017-2018 (October 2017 through September 2018) is expected to be lower by 8% from the previous crop year at 220 million tonnes due to the impact of poor weather conditions, the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said in a report.
However, Brazil—the second-largest producer of biotech crops in the world - is expected to increase its adoption rate of biotechnology to an average of 81% for total planted area for corn and soybeans, as well as cotton.
"The increase is mostly attributed to the greater use of biotech soybeans and corn and increased availability of subsidised credit for farmers, although at higher interest rates than last crop year", explained USDA-FAS in its agricultural biotechnology annual report for Brazil, released on Dec. 28.
The total area planted to genetically engineered crops during the last crop season (2016-2017) reached 45 million hectares. GE events with herbicide tolerance traits lead the adoption rate
with 65% of the total area planted, followed by insect resistance with 19% and stacked
genes with 16%.
Brazilian and multinational seed companies and public-sector research institutions are also working on the development of various genetically engineered plants. As of November 17, 2017, according to the report, there are 68 GE events approved for commercial cultivation in Brazil, of
which 39 events are for corn and 11 for soybeans.
Other report highlights
The report also said:
-- The area planted to GE soybean during the 2016-2017 soybean crop season (Oct. 1, 2016-Sept. 30, 2017) was nearly 29 million hectares, up 9% from the previous crop season. The adoption rate of GE soybean seeds is currently at 93%.
-- The area planted to GE corn during 2016-2017 (both winter and summer crops) increased less than 1% and reached 13 million hectares. The adoption rate of GE corn seeds for the total corn crop is currently at 83%.
-- Brazil is one of the leading exporters of biotech soybeans and corn, as well as cotton. It is also considered the largest exporter of conventional soybeans.
-- China is the main importer of Brazilian biotech soybeans and cotton, followed by the EU.
-- Corn exports are mainly bound for Iran, as well as Vietnam and other Asian countries. --Rick Alberto