2018 International Soybean Production Tour: Evaluation of sustainable high-yielding soybean production systems in Brazil.
Compare Brazillian soybean production to U.S.

Compare Brazillian soybean production to U.S.


Join Penn State researchers for this 11 day tour of Brazilian soybean production. We will begin in the central and finish in the southern region, visiting high yielding soybean production in different climatic zones, including long term no-till pioneers. This tour will provide you insights into state of the art crop management of leading Brazilian farms and be a valuable addition to your future development in soybean production.

Day 1 - Wednesday, February 21

Depart the U.S. for an overnight flight to Brasilia.

Day 2 -Thursday - February 22

Arrival in Brasília, DF

  • Visit Embrapa Cerrados in Brasília, DF - Research unit of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation which is the Ministry of Agriculture’s research agency. The starting point of the tour will consist of field visits to the research farm where we will become familiar with soybean production systems of the Cerrado region, and understand why a move to diversified integrated crop and livestock systems are helping to increase both soybean yields and land profitability. We will also discuss an ongoing study that is identifying the management factors associated with record soybean yields reported on the national soybean yield contest.

(Lunch provided)

Day 3 - Friday - February 23

  • Visit Fazenda Santa Brigida in Ipameri, GO - 2380 acres. 2,000 head of cattle for beef production. This farm is applying the integration model of Embrapa, integrating animals, crops and forest production and is one of the best examples of successful adoption of the concept.
  • Visit Fazenda Três Pinheiros – 4940 acres. Considered a model of grain farm in the region. Soybean, corn and beans seed producer in addition to beans.

(Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

Day 4 - Saturday - February 24

  • Boat tour to Port of Paranaguá – Founded in 1872, it is the largest bulk port of Latin America, and one of the World’s most important sea trade centers.  Some of the most important goods to cross the port are: soybean, crumb, corn, salt, sugar, fertilizers, containers, frozen goods, petrol derived products, alcohol and vehicles.
  • Talk with Dr. Pedro Loyola, economist from the State Agricultural Federation, which will talk about Brazilian Agribusiness (numbers, challenges, opportunities), and will be available to answer practical questions about Brazilian economy

(Breakfast provided)

Day 5 - Sunday - February 25

  • Workshop about crop modeling and high yielding soybean management.

(Breakfast provided)

Day 6 - Monday - February 26

  • Visit Fazenda Frank’Anna in Carambei, PR – 620 acres. Reference model of dairy, soybean, corn, wheat, barley and swine production. The farm highlights are the innovative management, excellent results and the use of topnotch technology. It was elected the best farm of Brazil in 2007.

(Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

Day 7 - Tuesday - February 27

  • Visit Agropecuária Seitz in Guarapuava, PR – 2720 acres. Family farm that grows soybeans, corn, wheat and barley. The farm won the national soybean yield contents a couple times, and currently hold the national soybean yield record (133 bu/ac) without irrigation. We will discuss with the farmers their management strategies to reach high crop yields.

  • Visit AGRARIA Cooperative and farms in Guarapuava, PR - Agro industrial Cooperative founded in 1950, combining tradition and history with technology and excellence in management. Starting with farming, the coop has set up complete production chains, which encompasses everything from agricultural research, carried out by FAPA (Agraria Foundation for Agricultural Research), to industrialization. The main crops cultivated by their growers are soybean, corn, wheat and barley. Based on their agricultural products, they developed industries of malt, flour, feed, oil, meal, grits and flakes.

(Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

Day 8 - Wednesday - February 28

  • Visit Sementes Falcao in Encruzilhada Natalino, RS – 1730 acres. Family business farm with more than 30 years of experience in wheat and soybean seed production, and focused on improving soil quality using a variety of soil conservation strategies. We will see a demonstration of how to reduce fertility inputs and improve yields with sustainable soil management.

(Breakfast provided)

Day 9 - Thursday - March 1

  • Visit Cotrijal Cooperative and farms in Nao-Me-Toque, RS – Agro industrial animal and grain cooperative with 60 years of history, more than 6000 associated farmers, and over US$ 460 million in revenues last year. The Cooperative organizes one of the biggest international outdoor farm events in Brazil “Expodireto Cotrijal” counting with more than 200,000 people, more than 70 countries, and around US$ 600 million in deals in five days of event each year.
  • Visit Embrapa Wheat in Passo Fundo, RS - Research unit of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation. The closing point of the tour will cover field visits to soybean production systems of southern Brazil, and a discussion of the importance of winter cereals such as wheat, barley and oats for the success of soybean production in colder Brazilian climates. We will finish the tour with a review of what was seen, discussed, and learned in Brazil and appraise how the knowledge acquired can be applied on the day-to-day work of each participant in PA.

(Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)

Day 10 - Friday - March 2

Return to United States

(Breakfast provided)


According to USDA, Brazil and USA currently produce about 65% of the world’s soybean, with similar annual volumes between the two countries. While the national soybean yield average in Brazil and USA has been roughly 45 bushels/acre in the past years, some growers have reached nearly 120 and 160 bushels/acre in yield contests, respectively. This large yield gap between the national averages and the record yields indicates that soybean productivity can be significantly improved by management. Brazilian growers have not only been overcoming the lack of agricultural government subsidies and local infra-structure by increasing production efficiency, but have also increased land use efficiency and plant diversification by progressively adopting integrated crop and livestock systems over the past decade.


This tour will provide a unique insight into Brazilian soybean production. Our guides will be well versed in both Pennsylvania and Brazilian agriculture. The tour has been designed to offer opportunities to participate in discussions on topics such as successful local production systems; sustainable soil management; biotechnology and weed, disease and pest management; high yield soybean production; crop - livestock - forest production systems; indicators of sustainability; farmer’s cooperative management; market opportunities; and cultural issues. The goal of the tour will be to present unique ideas for soybean management that are not often presented in domestic seminars.

The participants will:

  • Learn sustainable management tactics used by Brazilian growers to improve soybean yield.
  • Discuss secrets of high yield soybean production.
  • Review advanced no-till cropping systems.
  • Understand the benefits of integrated crop and livestock systems.
  • Compare Brazilian soybean production input use and costs.
  • Understand Brazilian culture and agriculture issues.


Please fill out this interest survey if you are interested in participating: Interest Survey.

You will be contacted by email within five days after you complete the survey to confirm your participation and to provide details about paying the deposit, etc.


Estimated: $3000 plus airfares (which are estimated around $1500).

The cost covers airfare, lodging, meals, in-country transportation, tours and activities. The final cost is dependent on airfare costs and the final number of participants. If the final cost is less than the estimated cost, a refund will be issued or the last payment will be adjusted.

Total cost can be paid in three deposits:
- September 15th, 2017 - $350 
- November 1st, 2017 - $ TBD (based on airfare cost)
- December 1st, 2017 - $ TBD (based on airfare cost)
Payments are non-refundable once travel costs have been paid.

By making your first deposit to participate, you are agreeing to Penn State travel policies including participation in the Penn State Travel Safety network preparation and submission requirements.


  • International Airfare (estimated $1,200-$1,500)
  • Domestic airfares (estimated $250-$500)
  • Accommodations 3 and 4 star (8 nights)
  • Ground Transportation in-country by bus
  • Bi-Lingual Guides with agriculture experience
  • Tours/Technical Visits
  • Gratuities for driver and guide
  • Most meals


  • Meals not shown on itinerary
  • Cost of valid U.S. passport
  • Cost of Brazil visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages (except during beer tasting and BBQ)
  • Airline seat upgrades
  • Baggage fees (some airlines are beginning to charge for all bags)
  • Souvenirs
  • Leisure activities on free days
  • Hotel charges for incidentals, including telephone calls, pay per-view movies, mini bars, and snack trays, personal laundry, room service, and hotel penalties for smoking in hotel rooms.


Please contact Greg Roth –