Decision-making agriculture and technology in the improvement of Brazilian production

Learn how Brazilian agriculture has developed its technological potential to produce efficiently

Decision-making agriculture and technology in the improvement of Brazilian production

Learn how Brazilian agriculture has developed its technological potential to produce efficiently


SÃO PAULO – Year after year, Brazilian agriculture is consolidated as one of the most productive in the world, taking the country to the top of the production of commodities such as soy, coffee, corn, orange and meat. What few know is that, for food to reach the plate of Brazilians and foreigners, there are technological innovations at every point of the production chain to give more efficiency to an industry that represents almost 25% of the national GDP: agribusiness.

If Brazil is already a world agricultural powerhouse with the shortcomings that it has, it could be much better with improvements in grain outflow, more adoption of productive technologies and less bureaucracy.

In addition, only 7.6% of the area of ​​Brazil is occupied with crops, according to NASA — American space agency. This indicates a long way to increase the country’s leading role in the international scenario. The study also reveals that Brazil preserves native vegetation in 66% of the area. As a result, producers working to reconcile agriculture, livestock and sustainability have placed Brazil on an increasingly high level in the food market.


Technological and knowledge convergence in agriculture

One of the major challenges for farmers is to increase the use of technologies that improve productivity and, consequently, income. That is why around the country, institutions such as the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and the Agronomic Institute of Campinas (IAC) are working to improve the efficiency of Brazilian agribusiness and provide more options for farmers and technologies.

IAC has developed, after twelve years, varieties of beans that are more resistant to rust, the main pest of the crop, and more tolerant to climate change. The Nuance and Tigre varieties are market research results.

Nuance has a creamy color and its flavor is similar to the Carioca beans, most consumed in Brazil, but it is distinguished by its light-colored stripes and its round shape. This variety is desired by the Asian market. Tigre, marketed to USA and Canada, is sweeter and has a cream color similar to Rio.

“The farmer thinks of the domestic market and is often dependent on it. We provide an alternative, “explains Carlos Aparecido Fernandes, research support technician at IAC. “With this, Brazil is able to exploit the market niches and sell its production to places of high consumption”, justifies Carlos.

IAC researcher and economist, Luiza Capanema, explains that the varieties can help the producer to have more income and productivity. “It is not at the mercy of domestic consumption, because when it has excess, the price falls”, says Luiza.


 What takes longer? Mobile software or a grain? It took us 12 years to study a lawsuit, I think there is a lack of recognition.

Luiza Capanema economist and researcher at IAC


Research influencing the final result

Beans, like other grains such as soybeans and corn, undergo genetic changes to support mainly climatic variations and pests. In this scenario, the researches try to improve from the health of the plant and even the consumer, adding more nutrients to the varieties.

Advanced biology has the ability to synthesize DNA sequences with high efficiency and to make additions in the genes, allowing the development of more resistant plants. With these changes, the grains assume different postures of their nature supporting elevations of temperature and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. But not only in the seed this gene change is carried out, in the animals was successful.

Coffee grown on IAC for use of genome in other varieties


Aggregation of value in agricultural production chains

To produce the grains and prepare the ground for the cattle, the tractors are fundamental for the farmers. With an air of Fordism mixed with the robots of toyotism, the production in Mogi das Cruzes, in the interior of São Paulo, shows how agribusiness and technology foster the Brazilian economy.

Within the AGCO group’s Valtra plant, each tractor takes less than 13 minutes to get ready – on average, thirty-five of these per day, explains Douglas Miller, the company’s manufacturing leader.


The average life of a tractor is not measured by the years as ordinary vehicles, but for hours. On average about 20 thousand hours worked means that the tractor asks for retirement for another younger to take his place.


As he walked through the noisy factory watching hundreds of people working all the time riding tractors a scene caught attention. It wasn’t the autonomous robots delivering parts on the factory floor, much less the mechanical arms screwing parts or the internal logistics software on the monitors equal to the Bovespa stock exchange. It was a spectacle. Common item in factories to avoid accidents and in the daily life of big cities. But this one was different, or rather, intelligent.


It’s Wearable Technology in agriculture. Google Glass used by Robson Cantelli, AGCO Quality Auditor, demonstrates the strides that technology has made in the industry. This makes AGCO’s investments of 4% in overall revenue — in 2017 was US$ 323 million — more noticeable for new technologies in the field.

Glass takes the employee’s hands from the clipboard, the pen, and even the computer. In fact, it’s in your eyes. A small square crystal, on the right side of the eye, in front of the lens, displays the image across the glass sphere. The images move with the passage of the finger on the right stem of the glasses or by voice command. Without using it, images become tiny, but when placed, the imagination becomes a reality.

The factory invested in Google Glass to check the quality of the parts mounted on the tractor. The voice command converts to text writing the reports and taking pictures of the materials in Robson’s eyes. Content is sent to a cloud storage system via Wi-Fi network. All features fit into 43 grams. According to Google, the battery lasts “a full day of work” – not specifying hours.

Implemented in February at the plant in Mogi das Cruzes, Robson praises the tool: “It facilitates too much. Before, there were many things to write down. Now I give the command and he already takes a photo with the considerations”. Implemented in February at the plant in Mogi das Cruzes, Robson praises the tool: “It facilitates too much. Before, there were many things to write down. Now I give the command and he already takes a photo with the considerations”, explain.


Decision-making agriculture and the challenge of producing more with less

This is the term that Julio Reghelin, product engineering manager at AGCO do Brasil, uses when talking about field technologies. “We moved to decision-making agriculture and not precision farming as before”, he explains. The term decision is based on realizing what needs to be done to have a less lossy crop and more financial return.

Systems such as VDrive, which does a population control of seeds, seek the ideal spacing to allow planting on steep terrain and curves. “Saving seed is the farmer’s dream. Spending ten cents (on average) for seed planting decisively makes the return much better than before”, Reghelin explains.

According to him, a good planting, with economy of inputs and efficient processes, is the crucial point for the success of a crop.


Commodities, which have held our economy in recent years, are not just simple commodities. There is an added value in the products, from the seed to the harvesting machine and the software that analyzes the data

Ana Andrade director of governmental affairs at AGCO do Brasil


Horus Aeronaves, a company created at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, has come to assist the farmer by processing the images from above on an online platform. Records are made flying over the field with drones identifying flaws for more decisive and accurate production.

Credits: Horus Aeronaves


According to the Horus agronomist, Rafael Kuhl, the concern is to solve problems and seek to solve them efficiently. “We understand that the producer does not need a map, but the information that this map can give us”, explains. With this information in hand, the producer manages the variability of the field.


Credits: Horus Aeronaves


Among the solutions that the group offers to its more than 500 clients throughout Brazil is the accounting of plants, analysis of vegetation health, identification and location of weeds.



Brazil has been efficient in the use of new technologies for the field. Institutions recognized internationally for their research, modern tractors, smart glasses, software and drones help to create decision-making agriculture. More and more need to put good quality food on the tables a whole the world.

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