Country Profiles - Brazil

Since 2006 Cepea has been participating in agri benchmark and thus the network could expand to Brazil, the largest country in South America.

Cepea is a research center of the University of São Paulo located at the College of Agriculture (ESALQ) in Piracicaba, State of São Paulo. It is focused on agribusiness issues considering a diversity of related subjects: market analysis and price discovery, international trade, macroeconomics, management strategies, environmental and social aspects, entrepreneurship and family farming.

Below, you find some basic information on Brazilian agriculture. Detailed information on BR195PR and BR1300MT the two typical farms within the agri benchmark Network located in the states of Paraná and Mato Grosso is provided as download.

Arable Farming in Brazil

The annual precipitation in Brazil ranges from 200 mm in the dry East to more than 2,000 mm in the Amazon. Paraná and Mato Grosso, the regions of the typical farms within the agri benchmark Network, are located in areas which receive between 1,000 and 2,000 mm per year.

In the tropical regions of the North the annual average temperature can reach up to 30°C. In the southern states for example Paraná, subtropical climate prevails and thus temperature ranges around moderate 15-21°C.

Annual precipitation in Brazil
Annual precipitation in Brazil (click to enlarge)
Annual temperature in Brazil
Annual temperature in Brazil (click to enlarge)

Land Use in Brazil

In 1965, the Brazilian government has introduced mandatory rates (Law n. 4771/65) how much land must be reserved for environmental purposes. According to the current legislation, last changed in 2001, farmers in Paraná shall put 20 % of their land aside and in the Southern part of Mato Grosso, relevant to the typical farm, 35 %. In the Amazon Forest this goes up to 80 %. As of 2012, negotiations are on the way to reduce these rates for the future.

Looking at Brazil as a whole, the majority of the national territory is covered with woodland (48 %) and further 12 percent with indigenous land, mainly forests. So far, large landscapes are occupied with grassland (19 %). Cropland in the end makes up only 7 percent of the total area.


circle chart: land use in Brazil
Land use in Brazil (click to enlarge)
chart: agricultural land use in Brazil


At national level, the area planted in Brazil with the eight most important crops increased from 42.9 mio. ha to 56.6 mio. ha (+ 32 %) during the last 20 years. However, in this figure hectares under double cropping, e.g. corn and beans, are counted twice. In 1990, the share of corn as a second crop amounted to 6 percent and rose to 35 percent in 2008. Both, soybean and sugar cane more than doubled its acreage while most of the increase occurred since 2001. Together with corn, the share of these three most important crops in the total planted area rose from 61 percent in 1990 up to 77 percent in 2010.

In general, agricultural production in Brazil is dominated by only a few major states. While São Paulo is the sugar cane state, occupying almost 75 percent of its total planted area, five states among them Mato Grosso and Paraná are very strong in soybean production which on average covers more than 50 percent of their land.

Regarding corn the picture looks similar. Here, Paraná, Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul are also on the top as well as Minas Gerais.

Given that sugar cane occupies more than 70 percent of the cropland in São Paulo it is not surprising that it dominates the sugarcane production across Brazil. This one state alone provides 55 percent of the sugarcane area. Further important states are Minas Gerais, Paraná and Goiás. Besides the states in the south central region of Brazil Alagoas and Pernambuco in the Northeast are among the states with relevant crop shares.

chart: shares planted soybean, corn, sugar cane
Share of area planted: soybean,corn,sugar cane

Partner Brazil


Opens window for sending emailMauro Osaki

Opens window for sending emailLucilio Alves

University of São Paulo

College of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ)

Center of Advanced Studies
on Applied Economics (CEPEA)

Piracicaba, São Paulo State, Brazil


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