Sustainable Farmland Investments



Brazil’s Amazon

It is my turn to weigh in on the debate surrounding the Amazon fires in Brazil. It is not my intent to minimize the importance of the Amazon, but much of the media coverage is overkill. Yes, there are fires in the Amazon. No, that is not a good thing. There are fires every year, […]


Brazil Farmers Focus on Yields Amid Another Record Soy Harvest

LUÍS EDUARDO MAGALHÃES, Brazil, March 20 (Reuters) – Brazilian farmers, who are expected to harvest another record soy crop thanks to good weather this year, are placing an unprecedented emphasis on maximizing yields, said André Pessoa, founding partner of consultancy Agroconsult. This stance, which ends up reducing use of deforested areas for farming, is being exacerbated by problems in drought-stricken Argentina, where a portion of the crop will be lost, raising international soy prices and potentially capitalizing farmers.


Brazilian Optimism

Following the election of Brazil’s new President, Jair Bolsonaro, the overall change of government has been viewed with optimism. Key economic factors are beginning to look promising as long awaited fiscal reforms begin to take shape. Rabobank is projecting 2.2% GDP growth for Brazil in 2019 vs an estimated 1.3% for 2018. Both inflation and interest rates are expected to remain stable or will decline. In the case of interest rates, they have declined to 6.5%, the lowest level ever recorded. While a steady recovery will help boost certain agribusiness industries like corn and beef, other industries remain tied to trade war issues such as soybeans, cotton and sugar.

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Genesis Report: December 2018

The next crop of soybeans and corn has been planted in Brazil. My wife’s family finished just last week. They typically like to get everything in by December 1st, but with heavy rains it pushed the planting window back a week. Other areas like the Mato Grosso were ahead of schedule, beating their five-year planting average by several days or more. This would indicate that Brazil’s crop prospects are firing on all cylinders. The sooner the crop gets in, the better odds they have of producing a bumper crop. Ag consultants are already busy putting together crop estimates.


Cotton is King

They used to say in the South that “Cotton is King”. Much of the early development of the Southern agriculture states was due to cotton. It dominated US trade in the 19th century. As settlers moved further west, land was bought and sold to wealthy plantation owners seeking to grow more cotton. While cotton has seen its share of ups and downs, soybeans have gotten most of the attention in the pending trade wars. Many may not be aware, that domestic cotton production is even more dependent upon exports than soybeans. While over 50% of our soybeans went to export, almost 75% of our cotton went to export…mainly to China. Much like the soybean market, the trade wars have begun eroding the US cotton export dominance as other countries like Brazil seek to fill the void.


Genesis Report: October 2018

Brazil elected a new President yesterday.  His name is Jair Bolsonaro.  He won easily by winning 55% of the votes.  While the election was not close, the rhetoric during the campaign seemed to mimic that of our most recent American Presidential election. 


The Time To Invest In Brazil Is Now

As the old saying goes, history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes. Brazil finds itself in a similar situation to that of October of 2002. It was then that Brazil elected President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. “Lula” was seen as a left-wing candidate, unfriendly to Brazil’s free market. These fears weakened its currency, the Real, to what was a record low at the time. Hindsight is 20/20, and we now know those fears were unfounded. In the decade to follow, Brazil paid down much of its international debt, and their currency began to strengthen.


US-China dispute sends Brazilian soyabean premiums to 4-year high

Brazilian soyabean premiums have surged to a near four-year high against those of the US as the US-China trade warleads to a scramble by Chinese traders for alternative sources. Soybeans exported at the Brazilian port of Paranaguá were selling for $396.60 a tonne, $66.10 more than the commodity sold on the US southern Gulf of Mexico coast. The premium is the highest since September 2014 and comes as Chinese buyers have been cancelling their US orders as the 25 percentage point tariff increase by Beijing on US soyabean imports took effect this month.


Brazil Soy Boom Spells Bumper Year For Agriculture Equipment

RIBEIRÃO PRETO, Brazil (Reuters) May 9th, 2018 – Agricultural equipment makers in Brazil are banking on strong sales this year, boosted by a second straight bumper soy crop and rising grain prices, which will more than offset weakness in the sugar cane sector, they said at a major trade show. Some machinery producers are forecasting sales growth as high as 8 percent in 2018 as farmers’ confidence rises and record-low interest rates encourage them to borrow and invest.


Why China Is Hungry For Brazilian Soy

Brazil’s poor infrastructure has long hurt the competitiveness of its soybean exports, but the country’s producers will benefit greatly as new rail and port projects come online in the Amazon region. Problems for its main soybean export rivals, the United States and Argentina, will strengthen Brazil’s trade relations with China this year.Brazil’s soybean exports to China will increase further because the South American country has an abundance of land suitable for producing soybeans with higher protein levels.


Protein plight: Brazil steals U.S. soybean share in China

January 25th, 2018 – CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. soybean growers are losing market share in the all-important China market because the race to grow higher-yielding crops has robbed their most prized nutrient: protein. Declining protein levels make soybeans less valuable to the $400 billion industry that produces feed for cattle, pigs, chickens and fish. And […]


Genesis Report: March 2017

It has been a great year from start to finish in Mato Grosso. There were a few negative harvest stories about grain trucks stuck in the mud and soybeans rotting in the pods. These made for a couple of good headlines that jolted the market, but ultimately they meant nothing. Bulls will look to point at anything at this point to try and push the market higher. Grain trucks that are stuck in a traffic jam, while foreign to us, are just a way of life in Brazil. Hiring trucks is easy. It is common that when a truck leaves the farm to take a load to town, you might not see it until the next day. Worst-case scenario, you just hire another truck. It may cost a little more but the harvest won’t stop.


Genesis Report: February 2017

I spent all of last week visiting farms in Mato Grosso where they are half way complete with the harvest. The northeast region of Brazil won’t begin harvest for at least another month. In short, the soybean yields in Mato Grosso look fantastic. I had to travel about 300 miles before I would find a soybean field that looked less than perfect. Farmers continue to make progress, finding ways to boost productivity and lower costs. In some of the “older” production areas, overall yields of 60 bushels per acre will be fairly common. One of the agronomists that was accompanying me, was downright giddy as they had 5000 acres that averaged about 75 bushels per acre…of course that 5000 acres was only 10% of their overall planted area.


Agriculture is Brazil’s One Bright Spot

SO PAULO deep recession, political chaos and a Zika virus epidemic have brought Brazil low, but the country is still a world-beater in one respect: agriculture.Brazil’s crop agency, Conab, said Thursday it expects record soybean crop this year and corn crop close to record. The country’s farmers look set to produce record crops of coffee and sugar cane as well this year, while cattle ranchers and chicken and hog farmers foresee reaching new heights for exports.


Brazil Currency Surge Lends Support to Ag Futures

The Brazilian real surged to a six-month high on Friday, on the news that former president Lula de Silva was detained for questioning in a largescale corruption investigation. The strength of the real is bullish for agricultural commodities, particularly in coffee and sugar, of which Brazil is the world’s top exporter, as it means that sellers will not accept such low prices.


Brazil Turbulence Creates High Risk, High Reward Opportunities

February 1st, 2016 Despite Brazil’s continued political and economic turmoil, export agriculture is one sector where the bright spots have not entirely sputtered out, Agri Investor heard this week at the Brazilian-American chamber of commerce. Revenues from agri goods priced in foreign currencies and production expenses denominated in reais are primed to increase margins […]


SLC Buys Into Slowing Brazil Land Market

Brazilian farm operator SLC Agricola unveiled its first large farm acquisition in more than two years, buying into the country’s slowing land market.LandCo, a subsidiary of SLC, paid R$77.99m ($19.64m) for 13,288 hectares of farmland in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s top corn and soybean producing state, taking the group’s portfolio to nearly 321,000 hectares – an area about the size of the US state of Maryland, of the UK county of Gloucestershire.


Ethanol Is Not Causing Food Price Rising

TORONTO The UN FAO has released data showing that global food prices have experienced the steepest monthly drop since 2008, casting doubt upon concerns about the impact of ethanol production in food price increases.The recent decline in food prices has coincided with a period of record ethanol production expansion, reaching a high of 94 billion litres in 2014 from 83.5 billion litres in 2012, a 10% increase over this period.

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Brazil’s Record Safrinha Corn Crop Gets Even Bigger

Brazil’s second, or safrinha, corn harvest has proven even bigger than was thought, with officials citing “excellent vegetative growth” for another upgrade to their production estimate. The official Brazilian government crop supply agency, Conab, raised its forecast for the safrinha corn crop, which is currently being harvested, to 51.55m tonnes, up from an estimate last month of 49.38m tonnes.


Brookfield Asset Management Targets $500 Million for Brazil Farmland Fund

Canada’s largest alternative asset manager, Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, has reportedly raised $300 million for its new agricultural fund created to target Brazilian farmland.The firm is aiming for corpus of $500 million for its Brookfield Brazil Agricultural Fund II, with maximum of $700 million set. The investment fund will be used primarily to acquire cattle ranches that will be converted into soybean and sugarcane farms.

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Brazil Reconsiders Land Ownership Ban in Commodities Bust

Bloomberg Business – May 5th, 2015 Brazil is looking at easing restrictions on the acquisition of land by foreigners to boost investment in agriculture and forestry as Latin America’s biggest economy heads toward its worst year since at least 1992. An effective prohibition on selling lnd to foreign individuls nd compnies hs been in plce […]