Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sugarcane and Rain

Our day today was spent traveling north of Goiania to a sugar cane production region. We spent our day at Jalles Machado ethanol and sugar production facility which was built in 1981. They have 62,000 hectors of sugar cane fields which is about 150,000 acres. From this 60% produces ethanol and 40% organic sugar for human consumption. The plant both conventional and organic sugar cane, with the organic being made into sugar for export to mainly the USA and Europe. A sugar cane plant can be productive from 4-8 years but most of the time after 4 years it is rotated with soybeans. Depending on the rainfall (or season) it takes from 12-18 months for the sugar cane to grow to maturity for harvesting. It was a very interesting and educational tour.

As some of my posts have indicated it has been rainy much of the time we have been in Brazil, today was no exception. At Jalles Machado they showed a graph with rainfall averages from the past 30 years, 2014 and 2015 to date. January was exceptionally dry and they were below average for February rainfall. March is slightly above average and there are still a couple weeks to go. The Brazilians are happy to see the rain, from an agricultural perspective I can see why.

We enjoyed Brazilian pizza tonight for supper and it was delicious! At the restaurant we went to they bring pizza after pizza all of different kinds, you take what you want and eat until you are full. It is like a buffet but they serve can't get much better than that!

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