Corn production has been rising dramatically in Brazil, up 90 percent over the past decade and this soaring production has allowed Brazil to more than quadruple corn exports. But deteriorating economics will probably cause farmers in Brazil to reduce corn acreage for the crop that will be harvested in 2014. Analysts in Brazil say that rising production and transportation costs, coupled with lower corn prices have squeezed all of the profits out of corn production.

Safras e Mercado, a consulting group in Brazil, forecasts first-crop corn acreage down 13 percent this year to 12.6 million acres. Acreage of second-crop corn will also be down – but probably by a smaller amount. Modern no-till practices require that land be covered in the winter – and corn makes more sense than most alternatives. But farmers that do plant corn will probably cut back on inputs, which could lower yields.

USDA forecasts Brazil’s corn production in 2014 at 72 million tonnes, down from 81 million this past spring. But due to the large carryover stocks from the huge crop harvested early this year, the drop in production may have only a modest impact on Brazil’s exports in the 2013/14 season.