Sunday, February 1, 2015

February starts on dry note

We had one good rain in January- that was it.

In Goiania we are running at about 10% of normal rainfall for the last
30-40 days.

There is more and more talk of water rationing for Rio and Sao Paulo regions.

The forecast for the next 10 days is for 100 mm. This will be nice and not one
minute too soon.

Soybean harvest will move into high gear now. The bulk of the crop will
be harvested in the next 30 days. Early yields were erratic-just like the start
of planting. Soybeans need water with heat like we have had. A common theme
among farmers is that it was too hot during podding. The yields are a bit less
than expected.

The heart of Mato Grosso is doing well. Large farms are averaging 57 sacs
per ha which is on par with last season.

The recent crop size forecasts of 95 mmt are still too high. Conab will be out
February 12th. They will decrease a bit. It will take 1 or 2 months before they do
the full monty again.

I am not there yet, but in the back of my mind I sometimes wonder if this crop
might only be 90 mmt. We will see who wins this year- agronomists or crop forecasters
sitting in the office looking at satellite images.

The Brazil economic situation is surreal at the moment. As ridiculous as it was to live through
Dollar/Real at 1.50:1 a few years back, it is becoming just as surreal in the other direction now.
Dollar hugging 2.70:1, inflation, everything is becoming more expensive all the way down to
a 12 inch Subway sandwich. Gasoline and diesel are on the increase as well as local taxes.
GDP is now shrinking and layoffs are occurring in manufacturing sectors.
Energy costs are set to rise as the government buys energy from Argentina and buys more
and more LP gas from Bolivia to run the generators to fill in the power gaps from lack of
hydro power. I wonder how much more the Brazilian public will tolerate?

I keep getting emails from young men in USA that want to work or buy cheap land in Brazil.
I know this blog is read by thousands and I welcome the emails. But, if one wants to participate
in Brazil, one needs to ask the right questions. How can I learn Portuguese? How could I do some
work study on a farm or business to gain cultural experience. What is tax system like?
Can I work in Brazil on a tourist Visa? What is cost of living like?

I cannot imagine wanting to come to Brazil without doing some due diligence first.
Subscribing to newsletters, reading expat blogs, chatting with other Americans here
that are veterans- no matter what the cost.

Brazil will eat you alive if you are not mentally, emotionally and financially ready for
her ups and downs. The happy medium does not last for long. You either live in AC or
DC here depending on the decade.

In Brazil you need to invest and believe in yourself. Brazil will not invest in you.
Brazil will take from you until you have had enough. You must first survive before
you can thrive here. Period .......