By William Jones, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – According to Agriculture Minister Antonio Andrade of Brazil, the Latin American country’s output of Soybeans is set for a record breaking harvest in 2014 after an increased amount of rain and heightened investment in fertilizers looks set to boost yields.
Andrade has estimated that Brazil’s market can produce 95 million metric tons of the versatile crops, which can be used to create foodstuffs such as meat alternatives like tofu, soy milk, and vegetable oil, it can even serve as feed for cattle.
If the Brazilian minister is correct in his estimation, this year Brazil could see their harvest overtake that of the world’s current biggest producer, the United States.
However, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest report, Brazil is predicted to produce 88 million metric tons while the U.S. will remain in top spot for the honor of producing the most soy by producing 88.7 million tons.
CONAB (Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento) the national food supply agency expect Brazil to produce a record 90.3 million tons but Andrade thinks Brazil can even pass that. “We are expecting a big boost in yields compared with last season and I have no doubt we will harvest over 95 million tons of soy,” Andrade said. “The CONAB estimate is conservative.”
Mato Grosso produces close to a third of Brazil’s soybean output and it is expected that farmers there are also planning to plant the soy starting in May for the winter crop, and also reports indicate they will be sacrificing corn production to do so. “We are noticing growers will raise soybean planting in some areas in the winter season,” Brazil’s agriculture policy secretary Neri Geller said.
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