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SAO PAULO: Buoyed by strong demand, Brazilian farmers are poised to expand their soybean area for the 15th consecutive year, a survey by agribusiness consultancy Datagro released on Friday showed.

The area planted with soybeans in the world’s largest producer and exporter is expected to increase by 4% to 40.57 million hectares (100.2 million acres) in the 2021/2022 cycle, Datagro said. Brazil will produce an estimated 144.06 million tonnes of soybeans in next season, which farmers will begin to plant around September, Datagro forecast. If confirmed, next year’s production, which is harvested starting around late January, would be 5% higher than the 136.96 million tonnes of the estimated output in 2021, Datagro said.

Brazil’s first corn plantings will be expanded by an estimated 4% to 4.56 million hectares in the new season, as demand for the cereal, a key ingredient to make livestock feed, remains strong, projections show. Based on regular weather patterns, Brazil’s first corn crop in the 2021/2022 cycle will reach an estimated 28.83 million tonnes, 16% higher than the 24.91 million tonnes produced in the previous cycle, the consultancy said.

Brazil’s second corn area is also likely to rise by a projected 5% to 16.37 million hectares in the coming cycle.

In the absence of weather problems, Datagro said Brazilian farmers could increase second corn production to 90.84 million tonnes in 2022, 45% above the projected volume for the current season, when drought and an ill-timed frost damaged a lot of the crop.

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