Corn plantation in Minas Gerais, Brazil Minas Gerais, state in southeastern Brazil, is going to pick a record crop of corn this year. A total of 6.6 million tons should be harvested, growth of 6% over last year, according to figures by the National Food Supply Company (Conab), disclosed by the government of the state of Minas Gerais. The 2007 crop was the state's largest ever, at 6.2 million tons.

    The crops were benefited by the favorable climate in the state, with good rain. According to the secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Minas Gerais, Gilman Viana Rodrigues, the strong demand for the product, since last year, and the good prices paid to producers are boosting investment in the sector.

    The state has also been registering greater productivity. The income at plantations has presented growth of over 200% since 1990. The city of Uberaba is the main corn producer in the state of Minas Gerais, with a crop of 409,000 tons of the grain. Then comes the city of Unaí­, with 253,000 tons.

    "The growth in production of corn in Minas Gerais confirms that there is no tendency for lower production of foods due to the expansion of sugarcane crops. corn is the main grain grown in Minas Gerais and is present in 841 cities in the state," said Rodrigues.

    According to him, the United States, who competes with Brazil in the area, should have a 10% reduction in its crops due to climate problems.

    The state's second harvest should grow more than 100% this year. The second corn crop is grown after the end of the conventional summer harvest, and is picked in August. In 2007, the state picked 98,000 tons of second harvest corn. This year the crop is expected to reach 206,000 tons.



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