We've kicked off 2010 and are running wide open. There is so much going on in Brazil and in my life right now that some days I don't know which direction is up.
The crops are all in the ground and are looking good. Cotton ranges from 2 in. to 18 in. tall. We have been working on getting post-herbicides down to stay ahead of the weed pressure — cotton in 36-in. rows takes a long time to reach a shading point to help reduce the pressure.
Soybeans are all over the board as well. We had about a 50-day planting window, so we have beans that are V-3 all the way to R-1. There's plenty of growing season left, so we aren't too worried about running out of rain at the beginning of the dry season.
Overall, the crops in Bahia, and Brazil for that matter, look good; reports from southern Brazil are very good, too. It appears that with no big hiccups, Brazil will have a big crop this year.
In March I will marry a farm girl from Nebraska. I thought it would be interesting to get her take on Brazil. Much like me moving down here seven years ago, she is doing the same right now. So, here's Amy's perspective:
MARRYING TYLER (SOON) and moving to Brazil is proving to be quite an adventure for this Nebraskan. After being here a while, I noticed there are a fair number of similarities; but there's a lot that is different besides language, culture and the metric system.
From an agricultural perspective, it's been incredible to learn about the wide variety of crops beyond the traditional Midwest crops. A highlight for me was to see the caju (cashew) fruit and nut trees dispersed across one contiguous 60,000-acre farm.
Early on I learned there are only two seasons in Brazil: dry and rainy. After experiencing the Christmas season in the Midwest this past year, it didn't take me long to thaw out and begin to truly appreciate Brazil's weather.
My new city of residence, Luis Eduardo Magalhaes, has a population of 50,000 vs. my Nebraska hometown of 200. Neither town has a stoplight; however, my hometown had stop signs and completely paved streets. Let's just say it's been interesting for this newcomer to learn how to drive a manual transmission car in a free-for-all setting.
Based on the sheer size of the country and less developed road infrastructure, small plane travel is very common here. My first Brazil small plane experience consisted of pushing the two-seat experimental plane to the dirt runway and taking off. The adrenaline rush came when the pilot asked me if I wanted to pilot the plane.
The staple of peanut butter is almost impossible to find, but the supermarkets in town are very nice with wonderful fresh produce sections. Most of their produce actually comes from the gardens behind the store. It brings a new definition to the word supermarket.
Overall, I'm excited and looking forward to this adventure. There is much to learn, but one thing is for sure: I'm definitely not in Nebraska anymore.
Next in a series from Iowa farmer Tyler Bruch, Global Ag Investments, whose firm farms about 32,000 acres in Brazil and 40,000 acres in Ukraine.