Our next visit was to a citrus, pineapple, coffee and sugarcane farm. This time we would see sugarcane production and hear about its vital role in the biofuel industry. There already is a huge ethanol industry and most cars in Brazil can run on either gasoline or ethanol. The hope is to soon have 40% of fuel needs met by the alternate. In order to achieve this goal, more and more sugarcane is being planted to be used as the raw ingredient. Sugarcane grows quickly and yields high volumes but it does require lots of water to grow.
On the way down the long lane (like miles long!), we saw some cattle and this worker fertilizing the pasture land.
This farm draws water off the river and has a vast system of canals and pumps to supply irrigation to much of its cropland.
Center pivot irrigation systems supplied water to coffee, pineapple and sugarcane in this particular field.
One of the scientist researchers spent the morning with us, showing us how they grew the cane and answering every question.
We did a little taste test to see how sweet and juicy it was.
Did you know you can lay that long piece of cane in a trench and each nodule will sprout and grow a plant?
I love this picture! It's always interesting to get a shot from a different and unusual angle. Notice there aren't too many women tucked in close - most of us were wandering around, visiting and taking pictures!!
We were here to see the sugarcane production but I was more fascinated by the pineapple field next door!
See the little flower tucked in there?
Each little flower becomes a 'nugget' and together they form the pineapple. There was no one to tell us about production so I had to do some research online.
We were lucky to have pineapple served at some breakfasts while we were in South America.
As we left, we drove past a field of coffee trees, growing in long rows like a vineyard.
It was starting to rain again which explains the white drops on the window of the bus.
The next time we are in a tropical place, I want to find a coffee plantation and a pineapple grower to get the rest of the story :))