By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil should register a record crop harvest in 2015, according to the IBGE (Brazilian Statistics Bureau), despite the severe drought faced by the Southeastern region of the country this year. The first estimate released on Tuesday by the IBGE for 2015 calls for a harvest of 198.3 million tons, 2.5 percent greater than the 2014 harvest which is also setting a record for agricultural grain production.
“The main crops to contribute to this increase are soybean, up by nine percent; beans, up by eleven percent and rice, up by 1.4 percent,” says Mauro Andreazzi, manager of the Agribusiness Department at the IBGE.
The forecast also calls for a decrease in cotton production, by eight percent, due to the expected smaller area seeded for next year. The Bureau also released the tenth production survey for the 2014 season, which totaled 193.5 million tons, an increase by 2.8 percent of the 2013 harvest.
The survey also shows that the Center-West region of the country, traditionally cattle raising region, has increasingly turned large pasture areas into large crop-growing areas and is now one of the most important grain-producing regions in Brazil.
Another government agency, CONAB (Brazilian National Supply Company), released its forecast earlier this week for the 2014/2015 season, calling for a grain production between 194.39 and 199.97 million tons, increase of 2.7 percent in relation to the previous season.
According to CONAB the estimated area used for growing grains in the 2014/2015 season is between 56.67 and 58.16 million hectares, with soybean leading the way and responsible for 45.92 percent of the total grain production in Brazil. Soybean is followed by corn, with 39.62 percent, rice with 6.34 percent and wheat with 3.55 percent of the country’s total grain production.
The difference in forecast data between the two agencies is that while the IBGE surveys forecast the period January – December of 2015, CONAB surveys the period between August 2014 and July 2015.