Friday, February 29, 2008

From Bahia State

First off - a correction from my last post. We've gone northeast (not SE) of Brasilia into western Bahia state to see some of the newest farmland in Brazil. In the last 25 years, the town of Luis Eduardo Megalles has gone from a hamlet with barely more than a gas station to a bustling town of about 30,000 people. Many Brazilians and foreign investors have found farmland here by opening up the vast cerraido, an area of scrub brush and natural grasses. The Brazilian environmental laws require about 20% of the land to remain uncultivated and be held in reserve. As you get closer to the Amazon, the percentage increases. It's quite a process of dragging, tilling, adding lots of lime and gypsum to the soil to improve the productivity and improving the organic matter but when they get through the process, they have fertile land that can grow the best crops you've ever seen. This area gets about 1200mm of rain and has a dry period of about 4 months, making for ideal growing and harvesting conditions.

We've visited the largest Case IH dealership in the world, seen a cotton gin, gone to the Coffee Cooperative, hung out at one of the most productive farms ever, checked out sugarcane research, and toured the largest farm in the state(it's owned by a Brazilean Japanese family!). It's been amazing to see lush fields of soya beans, cotton, coffee, pineapple and corn. Agri-business is alive and well here in Brazil!

I will download my camera tomorrow once we are back in Brasilia and share some wonderful pictures. I've taken alot of them! Esther, you asked about temperature in the jungle. It was about +30 during the day and went down to +27 at night. We had air conditioned cabins and boating on the water created a lovely cool breeze. Well, the bus is leaving here at 6:45 a.m. in the morning and I need to be on it! We want to get back to take a city tour of Brasilia before dark tomorrow so I'll call it a night now. Love you all!

And just in case I don't get to post tomorrow - Happy Birthday, Darrin! We love you!!

4 comments:

  1. So glad for another update! It sounds like you guys have been BUSY! I can't wait to hear all the stories and see photos! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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  2. Anonymous12:36 AM

    Hi Crystal,
    It sounds like you are enjoying yourself. I have one question, is Bob feeling better than when you left?

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  3. I can't wait to see the photos, Crystal. I am ashamed of how little i know re South America. I must do more reading! What proportion of the farms you are seeing are owner run? Or are big companies involved? Co-operatives? And how many farmers are local Brazilian people?

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  4. ryelee09@telus.net9:42 AM

    HI GUYS: We are enjoying your pic's Kayleigh sits on my lap when we look at them and says ohh ahh. I asked her if she thought there were monkeys and she nodded yes h a great deal of certainty. Be safe

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