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Ag Roundup: Brazil’s Record Grain Crop, Inflation Impacts Organic

brazil grain

Brazilian officials said the country’s grain crop is expected to hit a record 312.2 million tons, up 15% from last year, Reuters reported. The estimate, however, was lower than previous projections.

The government food and statistics agency Conab pegged the soybean crop at 153.48 million tons, up more than 22%. Corn was estimated at 125.83 million tons, up more than 11%.

The news sent grain futures higher.

The size of the grain crop, however, is presenting problems for Brazilian farmers, who are finding it difficult to find storage space, which could be as much as 100 million tons short, farmdocdaily reported (Nov. 23).

“Storage capacity growth since 2010 has not been proportional to increases in crop production in the same period,” according to the report.

The foreign trade office said Brazilian agricultural exports reached $136.1 billion through October, a 33% increase over 2021, MercoPress reported (Nov. 24).

In other news:

Organic: The Packers Organic Fresh Trends 2023 survey revealed 28% of consumers exclusively buy organic cranberries; 27%, papayas; 26%, Asian pears; 24%, sprouts and artichokes; and 22%, kale. “Nineteen percent, or roughly 1 in 5 shoppers surveyed, said that organic produce represents between 51% to 75% of their annual fruit and vegetable purchases,” the survey found.

Inflation, however, is having an impact on overall grocery purchases, the survey found. Thirty-six percent of those queried said they are buying less, 44% said they have cut other parts of their budgets, and 28% said they are buying less expensive items. Ten percent said they are growing more of their own fruits and vegetables.

Farmer sentiment: The latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer indicates rising interest rates and high energy prices have farmers worried. The barometer for November was virtually unchanged from October, but sub-indexes showed a decline for perception of current conditions and an increase in future expectations. Farm performance increased but was 14% lower than last year. And even though farmland auction results in the Corn Belt set record highs, farmland expectation value fell.

Farm income: The USDA projects net farm income to increase to $160.5 billion, up 13.8 % from 2021, by the end of the year, with net cash income to increase to $187.9 billion, up 26.5%. Net crop receipts are expected to rise 19%, with soybeans up 29.5% and corn up 26.6%. “If realized, net farm income would be at its highest level since 1973 and net cash farm income at its highest level on record (in inflation-adjusted dollars),” USDA said.

Sustainability: Syngenta has launched a new tool to help farmers gain insight into sustainability practices. The Cropwise Sustainability app demonstrates sustainability and identifies opportunities for improvement at scale, Agrinews reported (Dec. 6). “Farmers are often called the first environmentalists and really take sustainability to heart throughout their operation,” said Liz Hunt, Syngenta Sustainable and Responsible Business team head.