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Climate change threatens Brazil’s top coffee crop

February 15, 2010
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Full Article at USA Today

The future for Brazil’s mighty farm sector could be grim, with hotter temperatures pushing crops past its borders, uphill into the Andes and toward the tip of South America.

So Brazilian scientists and agronomists are rushing to deter the effects of climate change on the world’s biggest coffee producer and second-ranking soybean grower, a country crucial to the international food supply

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Already, the world economic crisis has thrown Brazilian agricultural commodities into a slump, with grain prices plunging on weak demand. But climate change remains an acute long-term concern: The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts an increase in global temperatures of 3.6 to 7.2 degrees in the next 20 years, with even greater temperature increases in the Amazon.

That could mean a 10% reduction Brazil’s arable land for coffee by 2020 — and a one-third reduction by 2070 — as the crop’s suitable climate migrates into the Andean foothills of neighboring Argentina, according to a study Assad directed.

Brazil’s coffee plantations extend across 5.7 million acres and produce more than twice as much as the next-largest grower, Vietnam.

Brazil’s soy crop, the largest outside the USA, would lose an estimated 20% of its cultivatable land by 2020. Beans, corn, sunflower, cotton are among other crops that would suffer a similar retreat due to high temperatures, the Embrapa study found.

Full Article at USA Today

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 15, 2010 6:13 pm

    In the best case scenario, Brazil is expected to lose $ 417 billion a year due to climate change, according to a report released recently by Brazilian universities. Not only coffee, but also corn and soy productions will be affected.
    I wrote more about that here: http://deepbrazil.com/2009/11/26/brazil-will-pay-high-price-for-climate-change/

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