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Brazil Takes Centre Stage in Battle of Tractor Giants

Over the last year or so, agriculture in Brazil has been making the headlines for reasons other than the rate at which the Amazon basin is being cleared for crops.

Machinery manufacturers are becoming ever more alert to the idea that the country represents a huge market for the latest equipment and have been busy promoting their products to farmers there.

It is not hard to see why they are becoming so enthusiastic about the potential of growth in Brazil, it has around five million ‘farming operations’ working 867 million acres of cultivated ground.

This is a sizeable area, yet only 45,000 new tractors were sold in the country in 2021, one for every 19,000ac of farmland, whereas in Ireland there was one new tractor sold for every 5,700ac in 2022.

Brazil tractors new holland Valtra
Finland decided to trade tractors for coffee so Valmet opened a factory in Brazil in 1960. The Silver Series was launched in 1985

There is a much greater diversity of farming in Brazil with only 7% of the land devoted to row crops. Sugarcane is the major crop, while it is estimated that 182 million acres of cereals were sown this year.

A 2018 census concluded that 50% of farms were less than 25ac which would suggest that sub-50hp tractors are the big sellers, yet 44% of the tractors sold are are in the 50-100hp bracket, while at least another 20% are over 150hp.

Increase yield, not area

Given the pressure that is being brought to bear on the Brazilian government to curb the clearing of rainforest, there is the need to increase yields on the ground already cultivated, and this is where the greater use of machinery and the introduction of precision farming has a role to play.

New Holland is one company that is selling the idea of of digital aids as being a way forward and has highlighted its presence at the recent Agrishow in Brazil, billed as the largest agricultural show in South America.

New Holland Brazil tractor
New Holland took the opportunity to introduce a new 75hp model to its range at Agrishow in Brazil

At the show, it put on a full display of the sort of technology that we are seeing deployed here in Europe, including telemetry and yield sensing and the T6 compressed natural gas (CNG) tractor.

The opportunity was also taken to introduce a new tractor, the T4.75S which at 75hp, sits right in the middle of the most popular power bracket.

Agco in Brazil

It is not just New Holland which is keen to do more business in the country. Both John Deere and Fendt have identified South America as a growth market which last year enjoyed a 56% increase in sales over 2021, with Brazil being particularly active.

Fendt Brazil
A large investment saw Fendt’s largest dealer in Brazil open up-to-date facilities for the sale of the brand

In September, Fendt’s largest agent in the country, the Vamos Group invested $20 million in new facilities at St. Pedro in Brazil’s mid-west. With a total area of 50,000ft², the new buildings are totally devoted to the sale and distribution of Fendt products.

Valtra, on the other hand, is probably rather bemused by all this sudden activity. As Valmet, it had constructed Brazil’s first tractor factory back in 1960 and has been a mainstay of the market ever since.

Source : Agriland