It was July. I was sitting inside a John Deere tractor rumbling across vast fields of soy and corn in Mato Grosso, a landlocked Brazilian state whose name means “thick forest” but is now more known for being a world leader in grain and cattle production. Farmland there stretches to every horizon, with some companies controlling Rhode Island-sized parcels of fields. Over the coming decade, another Florida-sized amount of area expected to be converted into new farmland.
Dirt and corn stalks swirled outside the John Deere tractor’s hot, loud, dusty cab, where I was sitting beside a glassy-eyed Brazilian farmworker who had agreed to give me a ride as he harvested corn. It was one of many unique looks I got inside Brazil’s huge agriculture industry, which might be the best available growth engine for Latin America’s biggest economy for years to come, as I write in a feature for the latest issue of Americas Quarterly magazine published today.
Here’s an additional plug for reading from AQ’s editor-in-chief:
— Brian Winter (@BrazilBrian) October 13, 2016