Oct 2016: Riding through Brazil’s amber waves of soy

It was July. I was sitting inside a John Deere tractor rumbling through Mato Grosso, a landlocked Brazilian state whose name means “thick forest” but is now more famous for its vast fields of soy and corn. Farmland there stretches to every horizon, with some companies controlling Rhode Island-sized parcels of fields that produce much of the world’s grain and cattle. Over the coming decade, another Florida-sized amount of area is expected to be converted into new farmland.

Dirt and corn stalks swirled outside the 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:

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