Expodireto Special: National Soy Forum debates resumption of Chinese consumption

A large audience attended the lectures at the 31st National Soy Forum, at Expodireto Cotrijal

03.03.2020 | 20:59 (UTC -3)

Market perspectives and the future of food production were the two major topics debated at the 31st National Soy Forum, held this Tuesday morning (3), in the central auditorium of Expodireto Cotrijal. The space was packed with producers who followed the event and interacted with the speakers.

Agricultural engineer and doctor in Applied Economics Alexandre Mendonça de Barros gave a lecture on the topic “Perspectives of Agricultural Economy in Brazil and the World”. He analyzed the international market and its impact on the microeconomy.

Mendonça explained that the outbreak of African swine flu in China last year led the Chinese government to slaughter a large part of the country's pig herd, as the disease is difficult to control. The consequence was an increase in the price of meat for the Chinese followed by shortages, which led to an increase in the consumption of wild animals, the origin of the coronavirus in humans.

Faced with the disease, Beijing ordered the end of gatherings of people, which impacts on the reduction of the economy. However, once the coronavirus is under control, China will make up for its losses in the coming months. “There will be a resumption of demand to reestablish China’s stock,” predicts Mendonça.

The economist highlighted that, today, with the dollar at around R$4,50, it is a good time to sell soybeans for the exchange rate. “For soybeans in dollars, a recovery already began last week. Yesterday, soybeans rose again. It’s a good price, nothing exuberant, but a very reasonable price,” he says.

Soil analyzed from space

Forum participants also attended the talk by the founder and CEO of Hypercubes, Fábio Teixeira, who addressed the topic “Building a Man-Machine Team to Feed the World”. He presented the nanosatellite that will be placed in orbit in the second half of this year, whose technology allows photographing the Earth's surface and analyzing soil health using hyperspectral images.

“The objective is to have the first commercial products by the end of 2021. Between now and then, what happens is the launch and construction of the first libraries of the phenomena that we would like to monitor”, he explains.

Hypercubes is headquartered in Silicon Valley, where it maintains a special farm, with capacity for 800 plants. On site, several variables are controlled and diseases are induced that are monitored by the technology that will be present on the satellites. At this point in the study, the collaboration of producers is essential.

“The first part is done, it is the construction of the hardware, the physical part of the satellite. Now comes the software part, we need the agronomist and the producer 'teaching' the machine what he has known for decades. And we need to turn this into (computer) code,” he says.

Technological evolution impresses

Cotrijal's central auditorium remained packed throughout the National Soy Forum. Those who followed did not regret it. This is the case of producer Flávio Cofferri, from Colorado. He said he was surprised by the changes in the market, which involve the entire world. Furthermore, he showed interest in monitoring crops using nanosatellites.

“It's the first time I'm participating, I saw that it's an excellent opportunity to clarify (ideas) in order to have a more assertive decision with our product in the field, which is our company. Technology is coming and there will be no going back”, says Cofferri.

LS Tractor February