Because sugar cane, Brazil’s main raw material for the production of ethanol faces an yearly off-season shortages, biofuel producers are turning alternatively to corn, so avoiding having their equipments dormant for four months .
According to an interesting article of Bruno Santos (on the site of agriculture.com) first steps is using corn alternatively to sugar cane were done by Usimat (state of Mato Grosso) in 2011, a firm which invested more than $8 million” to adapt its infrastructure and become a flex plant”, able to process both sugarcane and corn. The results were excelent: operating off-season, Usimat ensured an extra income of $ 23 million.
Brazil’s Corn Production
Brazil corn production for 2016/17 is estimated at 91.5 million metric tons (mmt), up 5.0 mmt from last month and up 24.5 mmt from last year. The higher production estimate is based on improved yields for the first crop and increased area for the second crop. Harvested area is estimated at 17.0 million hectares (mha), compared to 16.7 mha last month and 16.0 mha last year. Estimated area is up 7 percent from last year with the majority of the additional area planted to the second crop. The second crop comprises two-thirds of the total area. Yield is estimated at 5.38 metric tons per hectare, up 4 percent from last month and up 29 percent from last year. Last year’s below-average yield resulted from the reduced output of the droughtaffected second crop.
This year’s first crop is currently being harvested. First-crop yields are estimated up from last month based on favorable weather and higher-than-expected yields reported during harvest. In the principal first-corn producing states of Rio Grande do Sul and Parana, harvest is 50 and 14 percent complete, respectively. Simultaneously, second-crop planting is underway. Planting is proceeding at an aggressive pace buoyed by favorable planting conditions and a rapid soybean harvest to make way for second-crop corn. In Parana, planting of the second crop is about 50 percent complete. In Mato Grosso, the top producer of second-crop corn, planting is already more than 90 percent complete and 10 percent ahead of last year. (Source: USDA)