Areas affected by Brazilian farmers in the north and northeast of the country, the Amazon Rain Forest and the Cerrado Savannah, are expected to grow their soybean fields by more than 6% in the 2020/2021 crop season, the fastest rate in four years.
Separate forecasts from consultancies Arc Mercosul and AgRural show that in percentage terms the regions will be the fastest growing in all of Brazil for soy. Both outfits forecast the regions to add more than 350,000 hectares (865,000 acres) this crop season.
The soy fields will expand into newly deforested areas, previously created pastures, and marginal lands, thanks to the record profitability of planting soy, the consultancies said. U.S. soybean future prices hit two-year highs on Wednesday (September 16, 2020) spurred by demand from China and financial funds.
Environmental advocates say that replacing natural vegetation with farm fields will raise greenhouse gas emissions and hasten climate change.
Farmers say that Brazilian law allows them to deforest a certain percentage of their property, which varies by region.
The federal government, meanwhile, has praised the farmers for feeding the world. Brazil is the biggest global exporter of soy and related products.
Brazilian farmers are benefiting from its weakness against the dollar, and about 50% of the 2020/2021 crop has already been pre-sold in the Midwest since planting began this month. Find more…