Expect 10% Lower Yields in Brazil

Less fertilizer use, not soybean rust dropping yields in the agriculture powerhouse.

Brazil soybean production is expected to be up for the 2004/2005 year. However, Brazilian soybean yields are forecasted to be slightly lower.

Bill Westman, agriculture counselor for the U.S. Embassy, says that soybean rust is prevalent throughout the country. However, the impact of rust is localized, he says.

"With lower prices and limited resources, producers are cutting back on fertilizer," Westman says. The fertilizer situation could create a 10% yield reduction for many farmers.

Westman made the comments as part of a conference call hosted by the National Farmers Union. A handful of state farmer union presidents are participating in Brazilian tour to gain a better understanding of Brazil agriculture.

Production is up this year as sources vary on actual figures. Westman says the Foreign Agriculture Service is carrying 61 million tons, although some are carrying 59 million tons.

Marketing Editor Arlan Suderman says the yield reduction isn't enough to feed the bull market. World stocks are still expected to grow after the United States' record year in 2004.

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