Brazil is on track for a record-breaking soybean harvest in 2021-22, according to the National Supply Company in Brazil. The country is likely to remain the world leader in soybean production, followed by the U.S. and Argentina.

Brazil has the second-highest number of no-till acres in the world. A 2018-19 study found the South American country has more than 106 million acres of no-till cropland, which represents nearly 45% of its agricultural land.

Planting season, which started in September, is proceeding as usual this year. In 2020, harvesting was delayed due to limited rainfall during the planting season, combined with excessive rainfall at harvest. Despite the weather, Brazil still harvested a record 4,994 million bushels of soybeans.

In 2021-22,Brazil is projected to produce 5,172 million bushels of soybeans, a 3.9% increase over the previous record-breaking harvest. Acreage is also on the rise this year with an estimated 99 million acres of soybeans planted in 2021-22.

Historically high prices and profits in 2021, optimistic forecasts for the next harvest and the depreciation of the real, Brazil’s currency, relative to the U.S. dollar are leading farmers to plant more soybeans, according to Joana Colussi and Gary Schnitkey of the University of Illinois.

The price of soybeans is informed by international prices, port premium and the exchange rate, all of which are expected to remain high in 2022 due to the low world stock-to-consumption ratio and an increase in domestic consumption. Demand for biodiesel and animal feed will likely fuel domestic demand in Brazil, while Chinese demand and a weak real will drive an increase in exports. Soybean sales are projected to reach 3,218 million bushels next year, 5% higher than this year, according to a report from the National Supply Company.

Watch a video about the 2021-22 projection in this video from the University of Illinois’ farmdoc program.

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