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Pasture death causes R$ 3 billion loss in Mato Grosso

Last year livestock farmers in Mato Grosso encountered the same situation as a decade ago when they saw the sudden death of their pastureland – when the grass dies from one year to another. The reasons are varied, but drought and pests (hoppers and caterpillars) in 2011 struck 2.26 million hectares, 8.8% of the pasture area in the State, causing losses of R$ 3 billion.

The data are part of a new survey from the Mato Grosso Institute of Farming Economics (IMEA), done for the Mato Grosso Cattle Farmers Association (Acrimat). Of the 380 farmers interviewed, who own 96,100 acres, 57% reported having problems with the death of pasture last year.

IMEA also discovered that the sudden death of pastures shifted 2.71 million head of cattle in the state. The farmers were forced to lease pastures (where 38% of the cattle were moved to), to put animals in feedlots (10% of cattle), or use semi-feedlot systems and pasture, accounting for 3% and 6% of the herd, respectively. The relocation of the animals involved a total cost of nearly R$ 225 million for the farmers. Although feedlots accounted for only 10% of the animals, they accounted for 58% of the costs.

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