Brazil strikes fear in the heart of U.S. soybean producers, but its cotton producers should take notice too, says Woody Anderson, National Cotton Council vice chairman.

Anderson visited Brazil with a U.S. delegation to see the country's cotton production and its potential.

“It is quite clear that much of Brazil's cotton industry is patterned after our own,” he says. “The producers we visited are very progressive and appear to be good businessmen.”

Through the '90s Brazil was a significant importer of raw cotton with annual imports of 1.5-2 million bales. However, those imports have dropped to about 500,000 bales and Brazil now exports a similar amount.

Brazil has tremendous potential to increase its farming area to grow cotton. According to Anderson, one Brazilian textile mill executive said there is a potential to expand crop production by 200 million acres. By comparison, America's soybean, corn and wheat acreage totals 210 million acres.

The land is there, but Anderson says infrastructure and transportation pose the biggest limitations to expansion.

“Over time, if these issues are addressed, we have to expect production to continue to expand,” he says.