The area of soyabeans in the Midwest, the main crop of Brazilian agriculture, almost doubled in 11 years, from 7.73 million hectares in 2006 to 14.148 million hectares in 2017. Last year, West accounted for 46.4% of the area harvested with soyabeans in the country, according to the geographic analysis of the preliminary data of the Agricultural Census 2017, released this week, by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). The agency had already released the first data of the Agricultural Census 2017 last July. Preliminary data reported in July had already indicated that the agricultural frontier rose by 16.573 million hectares of national territory between 2006 and 2017, an area equivalent to the territories added by Portugal, Belgium and Denmark. The expansion occurred unevenly: Pará and Mato Grosso had the largest increases in agricultural areas, while in the Northeast, there was a loss of 9.9 million hectares. In July, the IBGE explained that the reduction in the area destined to

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agriculture in the Northeast could be related to the prolonged drought. The geographic analysis released this week quotes Ceará and Rio Grande do Sul to demonstrate the inequality in the expansion of the agricultural frontier. In the Northeastern state, there was a retraction of the occupied area: in 2006, 53.0% of the territory was occupied by agricultural establishments, while in 2017 the proportion fell to 46.3%. The number of establishments increased by 33,300 establishments. In Rio Grande do Sul, the movement was reversed. The portion of state territory appropriated by agricultural establishments increased from 76% in 2006 to 77% in 2017, but the number of establishments fell by 17.3% in the same period. Source: Canal Rural