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Brazil in position to pass US as soybean producer

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 11:17 a.m. CDT

CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) — An Iowa State University expert says long-term trends and recent weather patterns have put Brazil in a position to overtake the United States as the world’s leading producer of soybeans.

Chad Hart is a grain markets specialist at Iowa State, and he says the market change “has been building over a long period of time, but this year will be a milestone.”

Hart told The Gazette of Cedar Rapids that U.S. farmers can’t match the rate at which Brazil is increasing the acres for soybean crops.

Hart explained that the 2012 drought that withered much of the prime U.S. farmland hastened Brazil’s ascent among the world’s top soybean producers. He expects the next few years to bring competitive soybean crops between the United States and Brazil, but doubts this country will return to its previous dominance of the market.

He added that, although Brazil may replace the United States as the world’s largest producer of soybeans, soybeans will continue to be profitable for U.S. growers. And, he says, U.S. dominance for corn production will continue.

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