Thursday, February 22, 2018

Day 1 Embrapa

Today the group traveled to Embrapa Cerrados which is publicly funded research institute similar to the USDA ARS.  Check out the video presentations in the photo album.  Some key points that we learned were that the tropical soils here are naturally low in pH(4.3) and need constant attention to maintain and they utilize gypsum to move the aluminum which is toxic to roots deeper into the soil profile. Wei also learned about the integrated crop livestock research that is increasing the carrying capacity of pastures, allowing more land to be converted to crop production.

We also visited with Embrapa soybean breeding and learned that disease and  nematode resistance are key issues here.  They have a public/private breeding partnerships that allow them to develop soybean varieties adapted to this area of Brazil.  We saw evidence of soybean rust on some lines but they have developed some resistant lines.

Visited a crop/livestock forest integrated systems research trial.  They start with soybeans planted with wide (22m) rows of Eucalyptus trees.  Then they grow a crop of sorghum between the trees and then follow with a crop of a warm season forage grass called Brachiaria.  Cattle then graze the forage grass as the trees grow.  The 9 year old trees were about 80 feet tall- eventually they can be harvested for pulpwood or lumber.

On the way back to the hotel we visited the Brazilian White House area and took a few pictures of the architecture.
We finished our day with a dinner with Nicolas Rubio, our USDA FAS representative in  Brasilia and he gave us an update on US/Brazil relations.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Brazil Prep Work

Getting ready to go to Brazil.  First lessons in getting a Passport, the Visa Process and lining up flights.  Excited to attend and learn from veteran Brazilian producers.

Dr Greg Roth talking beans