Area with Transgenics will be 20.9% Greater in Brazil’s Next Harvest, Says Celeres

By Celeres, PRNE
Monday, December 5, 2011

SAO PAULO, December 6, 2011 -

- Celeres notes that genetically modified crops should occupy 31.8 million hectares in the 2011/12 harvest; corn with combined gene technologies advances

The area sown with transgenic varieties in the 2011/12 harvest will be 20.9% greater than in the last harvest, according to the 2nd crop biotechnology adoption monitoring report for the 2011/12 season, released today by Celeres. According to the forecast in the specialized consultation on agricultural economics, crops with transgenic soybeans, corn and cotton should add up to 31.8 million hectares during this cycle - a new record for the adoption of biotechnology in national agriculture.

The survey considers the recent favorable outlook during the period between deciding what to plant and the start of planting, and even exceeds the initial forecasts of Celeres itself, which in August estimated the area occupied by transgenic crops in the current cycle at 30.5 million hectares. “This increase is a reflection of a good moment for Brazilian agribusiness, and of the increased confidence that producers have to bank on transgenic varieties with a guarantee of profitability,” explains Anderson Galvao, managing partner of Celeres and coordinator of the study.

Soybeans continue to account for the greater portion of this area: there will be 21.4 million hectares cultivated with genetically modified (GM) varieties in the harvest, an increase of 16.7% over the previous harvest. And the Central-Western region continues in the national leadership in the production of transgenic soybeans, responsible for 42.7% of this area (9.1 million hectares). The Southern region is next, with 40.4% of the total area (8.7 million hectares).

The area with GM cotton will also be greater, and should come to 469 thousand hectares, an increase of 32.2% over the previous harvest. In this case, too, the Central-West is in the lead, with 54.6% of the total area of cotton with biotechnology (256 thousand hectares).

Corn: varieties with combined gene technologies advancing rapidly

In the case of corn, the overview takes into consideration both the summer harvest, which should be planted between November 2011 and January 2012, as well as the winter harvest, for which work should begin only in March. The numbers for this crop have not yet been determined, but Galvao believes that the trend is also towards a significant increase. In the sum of the two harvests, with two thirds (67.3%) of the total area planted with corn in Brazil to be occupied by GM hybrids, on a total of 9.9 million hectares - an increase of 32% over the 2010/11 period.

The summer harvest should occupy 4.9 million hectares, or 45.4% of the total space occupied by corn, which represents 1.5 million hectares more than in the 2010/11 summer harvest. The southern region concentrates the largest part of these transgenic corn crops, with 2.2 million hectares (43.9% of the area with GM corn), followed by the Southeast, with 1.4 million hectares, or 29.9% of the area cultivated with hybrids with biotechnology.

According to Celeres, the new development in the case of transgenic corn is the rapid adoption of varieties with combined gene technologies (or stack genes, hybrids with resistance to insects and tolerance for herbicides), which began to be sold this year. The insect-resistant hybrids are still leading, and should occupy 4.9 million hectares, but the varieties with combined genes, expected to occupy 4.4 million hectares in 2011/12, should constitute the largest part in the crops for the next sequences, both for the 2011/12 winter harvest as well as for all of 2012/13.

In Galvao’s view, it should also be noted that there are practically no commercial restrictions on the growing of genetically modified corn. “The geographic dispersal in the adoption of biotechnology for corn growing is an indication of this trend,” he observes.  On the other hand, the study indicates that the adoption is less in the North and Northeast regions, which shows a certain technological imbalance among the growers. “We still need public policies that facilitate access to biotechnology for small producers in these regions, underscoring the potential for income improvement,” he concludes.  

A third overview of the adoption of biotechnology for this harvest is planned for April.  The entire study is available here:

About Celeres

Founded in 2002, with headquarters in Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Celeres provides market intelligence, investment counseling, strategic consulting and rural planning.  Its consultants serve as frequent sources for institutions and the media, always seeking to interpret how trends in the countryside manifest themselves in the national market.  After the creation of Celeres Ambiental in 2007, dedicated to studies and projects focusing on the environment, and Celeres Farm Services in 2010, working in the domain of technological management, Grupo Celeres figures among the most respected consulting firms specializing in strategic analysis of agribusiness in Brazil.  Come visit

Bruno Viecili
Barcelona Solucoes Corporativas


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