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The Sino-Brazilian Telecoupled Soybean System and Cascading Effects for the Exporting Country

Ramon Felipe Bicudo da Silva (), Mateus Batistella (), Yue Dou (), Emilio Moran (), Sara McMillan Torres () and Jianguo Liu ()
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Ramon Felipe Bicudo da Silva: Center for Environmental Studies and Research, State University of Campinas, Campinas, SP 13083-867, Brazil
Mateus Batistella: Center for Environmental Studies and Research, State University of Campinas, Campinas, SP 13083-867, Brazil
Yue Dou: Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Emilio Moran: Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Sara McMillan Torres: Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Jianguo Liu: Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

Land, 2017, vol. 6, issue 3, 1-19

Abstract: The global food market makes international players intrinsically connected through the flow of commodities, demand, production, and consumption. Local decisions, such as new economic policies or dietary shifts, can foster changes in coupled human–natural systems across long distances. Understanding the causes and effects of these changes is essential for agricultural-export countries, such as Brazil. Since 2000, Brazil has led the expansion of soybean planted area—19 million hectares, or 47.5% of the world’s increase. Soybean is among the major crop commodities traded globally. We use the telecoupling framework to analyze (i) the international trade dynamics between Brazil and China as the cause of the increased production of Brazilian soybean since 2000; (ii) and the cascading effects of the Sino-Brazilian telecoupled soybean system for Brazilian maize production and exports, with attention to consequences on domestic prices, availability, and risks associated with climatic extreme events. Census-based data at state and county levels, policy analysis, and interviews with producers and stakeholders guided our methodological approach. We identified that the Brazilian soybean production decreased maize single crop production and accelerated maize as a second crop following soybean, a practice that makes farmers more vulnerable to precipitation anomalies (e.g., rainfall shortage). In addition, the two-crop system of soybean/maize pressures the Brazilian maize market when unexpected events such as extreme droughts strike and when this results in a failed maize harvest in the second crop, most of which is for domestic consumption rather than export. Our study suggests the need to incorporate the telecoupling framework in land use decision-making and understanding landscape changes.

Keywords: soybean; maize; global trade; telecoupling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gam:jlands:v:6:y:2017:i:3:p:53-:d:109146

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