Brazilian cropland planted with genetically modified soybeans, corn and cotton seeds are now outpacing the nation's conventional crop growth, according to a new review conducted by the consulting firm Celeres.
The report, titled 1st review of the adoption of biotechnology in the2011/12 harvest, notes that for the first time in Brazil's agricultural history, "the Central Western region – traditional producer of conventional soybeans – has exceeded the Southern region in absolute terms for area allocated to transgenic soybeans." Anderson Galvao, managing partner at Celeres and coordinator of the study said, "This growth is the result of constant improvement of the biotechnological varieties, which are increasingly well adapted to the different productive regions of the country."
According to the report, Brazil's next GMO soy harvest will be more than 13 percent greater than last year, covering more than 50 million acres. GM cotton will cover nearly 1.5 million acres, an increase of more than 62 percent over last season. GM corn and hybrid corn seeds will amass nearly 20 million acres in summer harvests, and more than 9 million in winter.
GM crops became legal in Brazil in 2005 after illegal GMO soy was sneaked into the country through Argentina and was already accounting for roughly 30 percent of soybean crops, much of which was being planted on what was once valuable Amazonian forest land. Brazil is the world's second largest producer of GMO soy (following the U.S.), and despite their growing loyalty to biotech seeds from companies like Monsanto and Cargill, Brazil still remains the world's largest producer of non-GMO soybeans as well.
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