Mapping Degradation: How Brazilian pasture land could soon be for crop production

Despite recent reports of corn crop conditions deteriorating in Brazil’s Paranà due to drought, the country is considering converting more pasture land to crop production.

A Brazilian Ag Research Corporation reports that 70 million acres of planted pastures in Brazil with severe levels of degradation have the potential to be converted to cropland. The degradation does not reflect the productivity of the land but relates to over grazing, insufficient weed and pest control, and lack of fertilization. If the 70 million acres were converted, it would increase Brazil’s total planted area by 35%.

The corporation mapped around 26 million acres of pasture land shown here with severe degradation and 43 million acres with intermediate levels. Land conversion towards food production has accounted for more than half of the increase in crop output in South America since the 2000s.


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