Did you know that Brazil is the leading producer and exporter of soybeans in the world? Or that some states of Brazil have three seasons of corn in a single year? Listen as  we delve into the specifics of the global grain trade, the role Brazil plays in it, and consider what this all mean for the vendors and suppliers in the grain industry at large.

 About the guests:

Dr. Michael CordonnierPresident of Soybean and Corn Advisor, Inc., is a highly respected corn and soybean production global advisor. He’s been involved in global crop production for 40 years and is Ffuent in Portuguese, traveling regularly to Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay to inspect soybean and corn crops. 

He appears frequently on national television and radio programs to discuss world agricultural issues, and he conducts numerous seminars dealing with agricultural production for regional and national audiences.

 Episode topics: 

  • Brazil’s role in global grain trade
  • How the Russia-Ukraine conflict has impacted a strengthened mutual relationship between Brazil and China
  • Corn and soybean production levels in Brazil 
  • Grain transportation in Brazil
  • Future implications for vendors and suppliers in the grain industry


To find more helpful resources, be sure to visit the GEAPS website and the membership page.  

Grain Elevator and Processing Society is the global leader in advancing the grain handling and processing industry. Be sure to visit GEAPS to learn how you can grow your network, support your personal professional development, and advance your career. Thank you for listening to another episode of GEAPS’s Whole Grain.

Transcript for Whole Grain Episode 14: Exploring Brazil’s Grain Industry

Whole Grain 14 Exploring Brazil’s Grain Industry w Dr Michael Cordonnier [00:00:00] All [00:00:11] Jim Lenz: right. We have a very special guest with us today. We have Dr. Michael Cordonnier. Michael is the advisor for many of you out there. He’s a source for global soybean and corn news. We’re so excited to have him here. We’re gonna address today a focal area of Brazil. And give a state of the industry right now in regards to soybean and corn production. [00:00:32] Dr. Cordonnier, thank you very much for joining us today. We appreciate [00:00:35] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: it. Always my pleasure. [00:00:37] Jim Lenz: Now, sometimes we start the show with a bit of lighthearted spirit, and we ask our guests if they have a mantra or success quote that they live by. Do you have one that you’d be willing to share with our listen? [00:00:47] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Well, my philosophy is you’re never too old to learn new things. [00:00:52] Jim Lenz: Oh, I love that. Lifelong learner indeed. And learning and growing and supporting others. If they have not met you before in person or virtually through your website. Can you provide a brief background about what are you doing now and then some of your past work and projects? [00:01:06] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Sure. Well, born and raised on a farm in western Ohio. Within the Peace Corps back in the early seventies, in Brazil of course, and came back and was a professor at University of Georgia. Worked for Cargill for a while, and now I have my own consulting firm called Soybean and Corn Advisor. [00:01:25] Jim Lenz: And what I provide is fundamental analysis on the production side of the equation. And I provide that to clients worldwide and I specialize in South America, Brazil, and Argentina, but also United States as well. So I don’t advise on the markets or trading or anything like that, which gives me the freedom to just provide production analysis and let other people smarter than myself figure out what to do in the market. [00:01:48] Great background. How long were you in the Peace Corps in Brazil? [00:01:51] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: I was two years in the early seventies and I was positioned out in Monte Graso and my job, and yet there was a bunch of volunteers in the same state and we helped to set up a series of research stations to see what would grow in Monte Graso. [00:02:08] When we were there, it was just a few cattle ranches and no grow crops at all, and everybody thought nothing would grow here cause the soil is very acid, very low fertil. The SDO area of Brazil and we did, you know, research on corn and the soybeans and sorghum and rice and cotton, and little did we know that soybeans would be the one that would take off. [00:02:31] So now Matagroso is the largest soybean producing state in the world. And to give you an idea, it produces about as many soybeans as Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana combined. It is a very big state. That state is the equivalent of the entire Midwest in size, and it’s just getting bigger and bigger agriculturally all the time. [00:02:55] It’s the number one corn producing, soybean producing, cattle producing and cotton producing state in Brazil. And like I said, production just keeps increasing all the time. Wow. What, uh, [00:03:06] Jim Lenz: a great set of experiences that kind of propelled you to it seems like what you’re doing today. [00:03:11] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Exactly right. You know, I was a professor at the University of Georgia and got a call from a firm in Chicago and say, Hey, would you like to go to Brazil and tell us what the soybean production will be? [00:03:21] And I said, okay. And so it worked out the details and I left my professorship and I’ve been doing this consulting ever since. [00:03:30] Jim Lenz: Wow, that’s amazing. So let’s transition in Brazil in terms of agriculture production, obviously leader and one own leaders in so many different grains and you specialize in soybean and corn. [00:03:42] So that’s what our focus will be for today. Brazil is the leading export of soybeans in the world. They may soon be the leading export of corn in the world in the next few months. From your perspective, how are things currently looking right now for corn production in. [00:03:58] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Okay, right now it’s uh, the second crop of corn is in the field called the Sonia, which means a little harvest. [00:04:05] It was planted a month or two ago and it’s doing pretty good, and in fact, the weather’s been quite good so far. It was planted a little bit late. Now this corn is double cropped after soybeans, and you give you an idea. In ma Grosso, about 60% of the soybeans are followed by a double crop of corn. So they plant the soybeans in September, October, harvest in January and February, and then immediately plant a second crop of corn. [00:04:32] And the earlier you plant that corn, the. Because you want to get ahead of the dry season, which starts in generally in May in Central Brazil and in southern Brazil. You wanna get ahead of any potential frost, so you’re gonna plant as early as possible. Now, the second crop of corn in Brazil is icing on the Cape. [00:04:51] For Brazilian farmers, they live and die by soybeans. So a second crop of corn is just, you know, something extra for ’em. And this shoe’s doing pretty good now, if they can avoid a. Before about early July it should be. Okay. And Kona, the Brazilian equivalent of the U S D A, just came out with their latest monthly crop report this morning and they kept the corn production in Brazil about the same 124 million tons. [00:05:17] And if the crop turns out as good as we think Brazil will surpass United States a little bit in corn production for the first time, they’re already bigger in soybean. So, It’s, it’s just, you know, keeps getting bigger and bigger. And like I tell everybody before we all pass away from this earth, Brazil will be the largest commodity producer and exporter in the world, at least on the exporting side. [00:05:43] They got the area, they got millions and millions and millions of hectares that can be brought into production. They got the weather, you can do two crops a year. So it’s just, they’re just a very big agricultural country and getting bigger all the. [00:05:58] Jim Lenz: Thank you for your response. Brazil has a mutual relationship with China. [00:06:03] Can you share with our listeners some of the recent developments concerning grain between China and Brazil? And also can you speak on the subject in relation to the Russia Ukraine conflict and how it has impacted the trade of grain between Brazil and China? [00:06:19] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Yes. You know, as soon as the war broke out between Russia and Ukraine, China quickly was cut off from its corn supplies from Ukraine. [00:06:27] They had like 15 million tons of corn on the. From Ukraine, it was their biggest corn supplier. Well, no war started that was cut off. So China immediately went to Brazil and said, Hey, can we get some corn? And they’ve been working on the Phytosanitary standards for a number of years, but didn’t get very far. [00:06:45] And Brazil just exported a trickle of corn to China. Well, a few months after the war started, they got down the. They signed phytosanitary standards, allowing Brazilian corn to go to China. And last November, China gave the green light to many, many green elevators in Brazil saying You’re authorized to export to China. [00:07:06] And the first exports were like last December. And then this year it’s, uh, gungho, so to speak, and how much they export. The China remains to be seen. Uh, estimates are between 5 million tons and 15 million tons. Since this is the first year, uh, we have to kinda wait and see. It’s also going depend on how much China actually needs. [00:07:25] So they got those phytosanitary standards, you know, agreed upon very, very quickly. Because China knew they needed corn, and I’d rather go to Brazil than the United States with a tension between US and China. So, uh, Brazil filled the void left by Ukraine. [00:07:42] Jim Lenz: Yeah, so the geopolitical climate is ever shifting, and so that has a big impact on trade with grains as you described it. [00:07:50] And, and that goes on in also other parts of the world in different relations. It’s important to kind of keep an eye on things. I think also what might help listeners if they are unfamiliar with Brazil’s production, could you kind of describe in greater context the seasons for growing corn in Brazil. [00:08:08] Listeners may be surprised to find out that there can be three seasons of corn in a given year. [00:08:14] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Uh, yes, [00:08:14] Jim Lenz: …for example. [00:08:16] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Yes. Now listed off with soybeans. Cause uh, three quarters of the corn is produced as a double crop after soybeans. So you’re allowed to start planting soybeans in Brazil in mid-September. [00:08:27] Now you’re not allowed to plant sooner than that because they have a soybean free period. The big disease soybean rust is the number one disease in. And they want to have all the soybeans, all the volunteer soybeans eliminated for at least a 90 day period during the dry season. So the soybean rust spores cannot go from one season to the next. [00:08:49] They don’t have winter like we have, so they’re dry season. It’s warm, it just doesn’t rain, it’s just dry. You can start planting a sore beans in mid s. Now the trend recently has been early maturing soybeans, 90, 95 day maturities. So those early planted beans are ready to harvest. Sometimes, you know, between Christmas and New Year’s, they start harvesting a few soybeans, but the bulk of the harvest is in January and early February. [00:09:15] So right after that they can plant their, called their second crop of corn, their sphen corn. That’s the big one. It’s like 75% of the total, and that senya crop then goes on to mature and you start harvesting it maybe late May, early June. The bulk of the harvest is about June and July. Now that’s this big crop of corn in Brazil. [00:09:37] The smaller crop is what they call the first season corn. It is planted at the same time as soybeans, so in August and September, depending on the weather in Brazil, you can start planting. Now, the first crop of corn used to be the big one in Brazil, but as they developed the second crop, the first crop keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller. [00:10:00] So the first crop is worth about 2020 3% for Brazil’s total corn production. So you plant it in August, September, October, and you harvest in January. And most of that, if not all of it, is in Southern Brazil. And it’s mostly done by small family farmers who may be dairy producers or their smaller guys. [00:10:21] Now the third crop of corn is only planted in northeastern Brazil, which is semia. And up there they plant just a little bit of corn, about two. Of all of Brazil’s corn, and it’s produced by small family farmers, maybe have a few dairy cows and maybe a few goats in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. [00:10:41] And they do that, they plant it in February and March, and they harvest, you know, six months, not four to six months later. But that’s a very small crop. So what’s been growing in recent years is a second crop of corn, and in Monte Grosso about 60. Of all the soybeans are double cropped with a second crop of corn, and that percentage keeps going up all the time. [00:11:03] So as they keep growing more and more soybeans in bigger acreage, it automatically gives them more corn acres cause corn just tagged along with soybeans and the soybeans have been going up now in acreage, I think it’s been 16 years in a row. They’ve increased their soybean acreage. So corn acres just tags along with the soybean. [00:11:24] Jim Lenz: It’s great detail in there. Thank you so much. I think a lot was learned about Brazil and the production seasons and so it’s looking pretty good at the time of this recording and we’ll see what the next few months come out to be. You know, another thing I came across recently was in relation to soybeans and for growers allowing to be planting soybeans near the rainforest, there is a government action that exists in relation to soybeans and soybean production. [00:11:53] Can you share some governmental regulations or actions that surround soybean? [00:11:59] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Sure. In Brazil, there’s a misconception about deforestation. The vast, vast majority of deforestation is by cattle ranchers who are increasing pasture for cattle production. Now soybean and corn production is not causing deforestation. [00:12:17] The deforestation is, you know, illegal mining and lumbering and that sort of thing, and no, uh, cattle production in the area. Now, if you’re a farmer, say in the southern Amazon area on your property, say you got a thousand hectares, Uh, you have to register with the government and if you still have some native vegetation left, the government regulates how much you’re allowed to clear and depends on what type of vegetation. [00:12:45] If you have just cerrado, uh, which is like low twisted Savannah trees, you’re allowed to clear, you know, maybe 80%. But if you have a rainforest, you are only allowed to clear maybe 10 or 15%. So it depends on the type of vegetation you have. Now the government is regulating this by satellites so they can monitor each individual farmer Ranch. [00:13:11] And if you are clearing illegally, then they know that by the satellite photos, and you’ll be issued a fine, and it’s a very hefty fine, so everybody tries to avoid it Now. This is just a new program started by the government prior to this. You know, the grain companies of the world have joined together and they called soybean moratorium. [00:13:35] So they are in the process of tracking all the soybeans they bring into their facilities and they go all the way back to, to the farmer, individual farmers, and maybe individual grain elevator. And they trying to monitor if any of these soybeans were produced on land that was cleared illegally. If that is the case, they will not buy it. [00:13:58] Now they’re trying to do the same thing with cattle, so the meat packers in the world are trying to trace back. All the cattle production, that’s a little bit harder to do because, you know, cow calf operation may be different from a feed lot operation, so it’s a little bit more difficult. But all the supply chain individuals are trying to identify where these crops were produced, who produced them. [00:14:22] And if any, was produced on illegally cleared land. And I think this soybean moratorium has been very successful. I would say maybe, maybe 1% of the soybeans are produced on illegally cleared land. So the farmers realize that. If they do it illegally, it’s very draconian. You’ll not be able to sell your product. [00:14:43] So, uh, everybody’s tries to adhere to it and the government now is trying to step it up with these new satellite programs in real time, quite frankly, so they can, you know, tell you in real time who’s clearing what and where, and they’re trying to tamp it down as much as they can. [00:14:59] Jim Lenz: Wow, that’s fascinating. Very, very interesting. Thanks for sharing that with our listen. Now Brazil is currently the number one export of soybeans. You described kind of how things were looking for soybeans. You can certainly add some more detail, but also I would be very curious if you could describe that relationship, that soybean trade relationship, between China and Brazil. [00:15:20] There have been some advancements in terms of soybean meal, right? Can you talk about that as well? [00:15:25] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Yeah, well first of all, it’s a symbiotic relationship between the two countries. China needs Brazil’s commodities and Brazil needs China’s business, and the vast majority of Brazil’s soybean exports go to China. [00:15:37] Brazil is number one source for soybeans in China, so it’s a very good relationship between the two countries. And they just now have also agreed on vital sanitary standards for soybean meal from Brazil to go to China. The Chinese been wanting to buy whole soybeans cause they went to processing industry and they value added products in China, and that’s understandable. [00:16:00] But they do recognize the fact that they might need some soybean meal and that came primarily because Argentina, which is the largest meal and oil exporter in the world, they had a terrible growing season. Just terrible. A very, very bad production. In modern history. So China was buying a meal from Argentina and realized, oops, we may not be able to get what we want from Argentina. [00:16:28] So they agreed with, uh, some fatto sanitary standards for Brazil. And Brazil was now allowed to export soybean meal to China. Now that’s gonna be a small part of their exports to China. The vast majority will remain full soybean beans, uh, to China. [00:16:43] Jim Lenz: Okay, that is a good sort of statements that provide some clarity. [00:16:46] Thank you so much. Now I’d like to address the grain transportation system in Brazil. Brazil has some, well, they’ve seen some recent improvements, particularly regarding to the quality of the road systems and their ports, because I think trucking is a primary mode of transportation currently in Brazil. [00:17:05] And you can add to that in some detail here, but listeners may be interested to know how grain is transported in general, all those different modes of transportation. Can you share some details and how grain is transported? What percentage by truck, rail and barge, and how are they utilizing rivers for barge transportation as well? [00:17:23] You know, like the Amazon River, for example. And how are the ports looking to meet demand? What are the challenges that lie ahead in terms of transportation? Especially maybe when it comes to rail, because obviously that can be sometimes the most efficient way. Not always, but certainly one of those, certainly beats roads. [00:17:42] What are the roadblocks that they’re experiencing? [00:17:45] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Okay. Currently in Brazil, about 60%. Uh, the grain is moved by truck, which is very expensive, uh, because the main, the main production is out in the interior of the country, and the ports are on the coast, of course. So to give you an idea, the distance from about Central Monte Grosso to the ports and Southeast and Brazil is about 2000 kilometers. [00:18:08] It would be the equivalent of about going from Minneapolis down to Orlando. That’s about the distance, and it’s mostly on two lane highways, which is not the best way of doing it. And all those highways are toll roads as well. So right now, 60% by truck. They have been doing some more barging and rail, so the other 40% kind of split between the two. [00:18:32] Now what they really want to do is more rail, and currently there is one railroad that services Southeastern Monte Grosso. That railroad just touches the southeast corner of the state, and now they just got permission to keep building that railroad further into the. And that railroad ends up at the Port of Santos in the state of Sao Paulo, Southeastern Brazil. [00:18:55] So that’s the one main railroad that hauls grain, AMA Grosso. There’s another railroad called the North South Railroad that goes straight north and south through the center of the country. Does not touch Montag Grosso. If it does go through states like Go Ice, which is a big green producing state in Sao Paulo. [00:19:11] And that has been opened up now completely north and south. So that’s another sort of an avenue. Now what they wanna do is build. A bunch more railroads and as a lot of them in plans, the biggest plan is a railroad from Northern Matagroso straight north to the Amazon. Now, the Amazon has become much more important for grain exports, and it’s what’s called the northern arc of ports. [00:19:37] There are ports on tributaries to the Amazon and the Amazon itself, and they’ve built brand new ports and increased existing ports to. Green corn and soybeans primarily. And if you go to sort of the northeastern part of Brazil, they have some Newports also on the northeastern coast that used to be, well, they still export iron ore, which is a very big export to China, and they’ve increased those ports to accommodate in grain now, right now, about. [00:20:07] 20 to 22, 20 3% of the grain in Brazil moves north to the Amazon ports instead of south to the ports of Santos and Padua in southeastern Brazil. And as they get more railroads are built, they. No, have more moving by rail, but it’s a very slow process. This railroad going from Monte Grosso to the Amazon, it’s been on the books for many, many years, is now held up in court. [00:20:33] The environmental groups have a lawsuit against it. They say if you put this railroad in, then you’re just gonna have, you know, a more grain production and more deforestation, which is not necessarily the case at all. And that railroad in. With parallel, probably the most famous highway in Brazil, highway 1 63, sometimes called the Soybean Highway. [00:20:53] Now that highway goes from Matagroso up to the Amazon. It also goes down to Southern Brazil, and it’s called the Soybean Highway for a reason. Cause almost all the grain trucks in Matagroso go down that highway. So it’s very. Full of grain trucks know all the time, so they’re trying to improve the roads and that sort of thing. [00:21:12] That’s a slow process. The railroad is a very slow process, very expensive, and you’re building railroads through a rainforest and you know, dozens of bridges and it’s just a complicated endeavor. Now they are doing some barging operation. In fact, the end of highway 1 63 up near the Amazon, it ends at a tributary to the Amazon and there are numerous barging operations already in existence at that location. [00:21:42] And they barge the soybeans and corn down the Amazon to the mouth of the Amazon where they have some, you know, bigger ports. Now the ports on the Amazon can only handle what they call handy size vessels, 30, 40,000 tons. But once you get to the northeastern coast and the mouth of the Amazon, then you can handle, you know, panamix, you know, 60,000 ton vessels. [00:22:05] Now the ports in Brazil, the two biggest are Santos and Patua Santos. Sao Paulo is the biggest port in Brazil, and it’s the end of the. There comes outta Monte Grosso, so they get a lot of soybeans and corn. They’ll buy rail from Monte Grosso to that port. The other one is Patua in the state of Pat Now. [00:22:25] Especially in Padua, they have greatly improved the efficiency of the port that port can now handle. You know, huge vessels. The biggest ever for grain, like 105 hundred and 10,000 tons. They’ve increased their docking and their draft area in the bay and at the port and they say, listen, we gotta compete with the ports up north, so we gotta get more efficient down here in Southeastern Brazil. [00:22:50] So I think the ports are doing fine. I don’t see any problems with the ports they. Record production this year, a corn, so the, all the ports in Brazil are going to have to work 24 7 for months ahead to keep up with this huge volume of corn and soybeans, and I think they’ll be able to do it. Now there’s gonna be probably some labor issues and all that sort of thing, but they’re, they’re never very big problems in Brazil. [00:23:16] They always are short-lived. And I think the improvements that the port has been very well executed and now they’re positioned to handle these bigger volumes. So the highway system needs a lot of work. It’s limited and all the new systems are toll roads. And to give you an idea from Matagroso to say the Port of Paua, Just the toll is about a dollar a bushel for tolls. [00:23:43] So if you add on the, no, the freight cost and the toll cost, it could be. Now during the peak of the season, it could cost you two, three, maybe $4 a bushel. Transportation cost. It gets from central market gross to the ports. So they really, really need these railroads, uh, to improve the efficiency and cut down on the cost. [00:24:07] The biggest problem in Brazil is transportation cost. You know, they can produce soybeans cheaper than we can in the United States. They do two crops a year, all that sort of thing. They had very good weather, but transportation is a killer and they’re trying the best they can to reduce that transportation cost in Brazil. [00:24:26] Efficiencies. That’s the the key thing. Large producer of grain, but they’re being hurt in the transportation system, so they have made improvements, but it seems like there’s a long way to go in terms of driving that efficiency. A whole nother level. The key there is to rail. Sounds like they’re continuing to work on that. [00:24:44] That’s a great overall assessment and in fact, Just to share with you, Dr. Kone is the fact that I just spoke with Quorum Corporation. They do a lot of information gathering in terms of green transportation for the western Prairies of Canada, and just to give the listeners some information about the global markets, some of the leaders there of grain production for exports. [00:25:06] What is the length of hall to port of. Brazil a hundred to 1,250 miles with 580 miles for the average, and they truck, 90% of that is trucked. However, you know, one of the more inefficient ways to, to haul grain Argentina, it’s a hundred, uh, 500 miles for the length of haul to the port of export. 90% of that is a mode of transportation. [00:25:33] Australia, 50 to 150 miles, 50% of that is by truck Rail is 50% United States. What is that? What’s the length of haul to port of export? It’s between 350 miles and 600 miles. 20% by truck. 40% by rail in, uh, the barge. 40%. So the nice thing about the United States is fact that they have two sets of oceans and they have major rivers to help support that. [00:25:58] And, uh, big yeah. Rail system and then Western Canada a hundred. 1,150 miles. 95% of that is by rail, 5% is by truck. So again, that’s length of haul to port of export. That’s rather interesting. [00:26:13] Yeah. You know, if you go to Argentina, you know, all the ports along, uh, the Patna River around the city of, and, and literally if you stand at the port, you can see the soybean fields. [00:26:24] They’re just right next door. Hmm. So Argentina has a tremendous advantage. They produce the corn and the soybeans right next door to the ports, so that’s very convenient for them. Unfortunately, uh, is produced down the middle of the continent and it takes, uh, you know, a very long time to get to the port. [00:26:41] You know, a truck from Central Monte Grosso say to go to Patua and back. It’s about a 10 day trip to get there and back. So, very expensive. Wow. Would, uh, greatly, uh, reduce that cost. [00:26:54] Jim Lenz: Yeah. Oh my, okay. That’s, that’s a huge, that really kind of brings to life some of the numbers that you’ve just shared there. [00:27:00] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: I know I’ve driven that many times myself and in the car it would be, I think like three days to get one direction three days back. And that’s in a car. And these big heavy grain trucks should go much slower. So they have a much longer time to get that grain to port. [00:27:18] Jim Lenz: Interesting, interesting. [00:27:19] For sure. You know, lots of grain production. Those are listening to this, whether they’re vendors and suppliers, or they’re in operations and facilities or other parts of that, you know. Their purpose, their function. Big picture is to feed and fuel the world, and we need to continue that production. Things change and evolve. [00:27:40] So you’re a great resource for supporting people. We’ll get back to how you can support others here before we end, but a couple things. So lot was discussed today, and so there are challenges and there are opportunities. What do you think in your mind, Brazil being one of the biggest producers agree in the world, [00:27:58] what does that mean for the vendors and suppliers of the industry? Where do you believe are the greatest needs for support? [00:28:07] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Well, you know, if you go to Brazil, virtually every agri business is there. You know, the, the grain companies, the seed producers, the fertilizer people, the chemical companies, they all have operations in Brazil. [00:28:22] In fact, a lot of the seed businesses are putting in research stations all around Brazil, and not so much in Argentina, but mostly in. And they realize that’s where the expansion’s gonna be. The machinery companies, everybody else, they have huge farm shows in Brazil. And if you go up into the central part of the country, you know, Monte Grosso it, it’s huge, it’s big, it’s flat, so it’s very attractive for a very large machinery. [00:28:51] And every company that does agricultural business, United States is in Brazil. And they all realize that the potential in the future. Lies more in Brazil. It does in the United States. You know, we’re basically planted full and we can adjust acres more or less by taking not one crop, putting in another crop. [00:29:10] But if you go to Brazil, you know, everything can keep going up. You know, just everything. You can grow more of everything because of the country and the way it’s all done. Now, just to give you an idea, Most of the expansion of soybeans comes from the conversion of pasture to row crops and embrapa, which is a Brazilian agriculture research service. [00:29:31] They were doing research for a decade or longer, and they tell the farmers like this, if you’re a rancher, what you can do is plow up some of that pasture now put it in a row. You know, soybeans followed by corn, and then do that for a couple of years. Put on lime, raise the pH, put on fertilizer, razor fertility, and then you can put some of that back into pasture. [00:29:53] But don’t put the way it was before because in before that pasture may have been developed, no, 75 years ago. And it was never, you know, upkeep never improved since then. So put on a new species of grass, now you have better fertility and you’ll get, you know, much better production of cattle and you’ll get, you know, row crops and cattle production from the same area. [00:30:17] And you don’t have to go out and buy a new spot or clear a new spot of land. And this is a win-win for everybody. That’s what the government wants you to. That’s what the environmental groups want you to do. Produce more with what you got. Don’t go out there and try to clear a new. On the southern edge of the Amazon, we don’t want you to do that. [00:30:35] So do more with what you have. And that’s what the big emphasis is in Brazil and that’s what’s happening. So I would say, you know, maybe three quarters of all the new soybean acres that come online in Brazil every year is from pasture conversions. And they emphasize, take the degraded pastures. These are ones that are low fertility, maybe eroded, uh, very acid in nature and take the worst pastures, put those in the row crops and then you’ll get row crops and a better pasture in the end. [00:31:04] So it’s kind of win-win for everybody. [00:31:06] Jim Lenz: Oh, such a great episode. Thank you so much for joining us today. This is a real rich understanding of detail of growth in the grain industry in Brazil. What are opportunities and challenges and certainly incredible opportunities to, yeah, come about here in the near future. [00:31:23] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: And also if anybody has any questions or if you wanna, you know, give an idea of a free weekly subscription to my reports, feel free to send me an email. It’s very simple. It’s soy and corn.com, S O Y C O R N comcast.net, or soybeans and corn.com on my website. Just send me an email. Be glad to answer any of your questions or send you a free trial description. [00:31:50] Jim Lenz: Fantastic. That’s something we’ll put in the show notes, in the description of the show so listeners, you did not get that, that’ll be there. Also his website, soy beans and corn.com. Again, real quick, what are some services that you offer? [00:32:04] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Well, what I provide is, uh, a weekly report detailing, you know, production, both corn and soybean beans, north America and South America. [00:32:11] We’re just wrapping up, you know, south America now we’re transitioning into the North America. So, uh, we will be out monitoring the US crops and that sort of thing. So I provide the weekly report. It’s kind of a long, detailed example of what’s happening and they’ll also provide phone contact and anything that my clients would like to know about the production side equation, my client base is all around the world, so I try to keep everybody informed of what’s happening in the Midwest during our summer in South America during their summer. [00:32:40] Alright. Now [00:32:42] Jim L: I’m guessing that you speak the native language of Portuguese. [00:32:46] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: Yes, I’m fluent in Portuguese. My wife is a Brazilian. We’ve lived in Brazil for many years and go back and forth all the time. So yeah, I’m, I’m fluent in Portuguese and, and I can get by in Spanish, but Portuguese, no problem whatsoever. [00:33:00] Jim Lenz: So with that, Dr. Cardonnier could you please share with us this statement in Portuguese, exploring Brazil’s grain industry with Dr. Michael Cardonnier. [00:33:18] Dr. Michael Cordonnier: [he speaks in Portuguesse] [00:33:20] Jim Lenz: and one final statement, Dr. Michael Cordonnier, could you please state? “Thanks for listening to this episode of Whole Grain, a podcast presented by GEAPS, The Grain, Elevator and Processing Society.” [00:33:32] he speaks in Portuguesse] [00:33:35] we appreciate that problem. I love, love to connect again. What a tremendous resource you are to the, the world of grain.

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