According to a survey conducted by Sindiveg (National Union of Industry of Products for Plant Defense), the total area treated with agrochemicals in Brazil grew by 9.8% in the 2nd quarter of 2020 (April to June), reaching 142.4 million hectares compared to 129.8 million hectares in the same period of 2019.
Dollar value also dropped by 3.1% drop in the second quarter, reaching US$1.36 billion, Sindiveg added, while pointing out that exchange rate devaluation is another major challenge for the industry, which acquires many imported inputs and is not yet capable of fully passing on the increase in this integral part of the market.
“It is worth remembering the important role of pesticide companies as financing agents for Brazilian agricultural production. Our average financing term reached 240 days, increasing by over 20%. Companies in the agrochemical sector are committed and are working hard to provide sufficient resources to finance the sector,” said Julio Garcia (president of Sindiveg).
The highlight crop in the 2nd quarter of the year was “safrinha” corn (winter harvest), with an increase of 83.6% in terms of treated area between April and June 2019, reaching 24 million hectares. In terms of products, fungicides showed an increase of 8.6% over the same period in 2019. Herbicide use was 8.5% lower while insecticide use fell by 3.6%.
“The 2nd quarter of the year is the time for planting off-season corn. The challenges facing this culture are many, most notably caterpillars and bedbugs. Motivated by attractive prices in the global market, farmers are cultivating 14 million hectares, an area 3.9% higher than the previous harvest, with 13.5 million hectares, according to a survey carried out by Sindiveg’s private consultants,” Garcia added, noting that a harvest of 73 million tons is predicted.
The increase in area treated with agrochemicals in Brazil is due to the growing need of Brazilian agriculture for greater productivity. According to Sindiveg, farmers demanded more technologies related to pesticides and had to use different strategies with phytosanitary products when managing and protecting their crops.
“Pesticides, therefore, play a key role in agriculture, such as avoiding the effects of harmful agents that are becoming more resistant to agrochemicals and more aggressive and selective. It is also important to emphasize the relevance of the tropical environment, which is extremely challenging due to the hot and humid climate and year-round production. This setting is perfect for pests. Without pesticides, productivity would, on average, be 40% lower, harvesting 100 million tonnes of food every year,” Garcia said in conclusion.