Brazil's top crop science institute reports this week that the 2006-07 soybean crop will be up to 50% biotech. The report comes from a leading researcher at Embrapa. The 2005-06 crop had about 20 million acres in biotech lines out of about 45 million acres of soybean ground.
More acres are going to soybeans after a government ruling in 2005 that permits the high-tech crops to be planted, according to wire service reports. Brazil's soy crop is expected to cover just over 46 million acres for 2006-07.
Brazilian farmers are switching to the transgenic lines - usually Roundup Ready crops - to reduce their herbicide costs. Farmers in the country are facing their worst financial crisis in decades and will spend less on the new crop, according to market estimates.