Brazil: record agricultural yields
- François-Xavier Branthôme
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According to the Brazilian press, the harvest of the last shipments of processing tomatoes ended in the very first days of November. The Brazilian industry mainly produces raw materials for manufacturing sauces, tomato extracts and pulps; 90% of the country's production is grown in the State of Goiás.
This year, the weather was good and productivity per hectare reached a record level. "We are currently at 94 metric tonnes per hectare," explained Rafael Rezende Santana, an agronomist with Abratop, the Brazilian association of operators of the tomato processing industry. According to him, the usual average is approximately 80 mT/ha. The high yields have made a difference to the revenue of growers. Some of them, particularly in the South-West of the State of Goiás, reached productivity levels that are significantly higher (111 mT/ha) than the national average, including on the widest expanses of planted surfaces.
So the crop has turned out to be profitable this year. The price of processing tomatoes, which was negotiated before planting, remained stable in 2018 (at approximately BRL 173/mT). Yields are generally improved thanks to the dry weather that prevails during the cultivation period: the 120-day cycle lasts throughout the dry season, and requires irrigation that is still carried out by a central pivot sprinkler system. "It is common to hear that tomatoes love water", explained an operator who runs one of the farming units, "but they do not love rain. In our region, rainfall is not very abundant, and this is a bonus for productivity.”
Source: Globo Rural
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