A game-changer in Brazil

BR-163 Highway Brazil
Trucks make their way along the BR-163 highway in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The Brazilian government recently improved the two-lane highway, which will help move soybeans and other crops to ports along the Amazon River. PHOTO / DIRCK STEIMEL

The highway called BR-163 in northern Brazil isn’t much to look at. It’s a narrow, two-lane strip of bumpy blacktop that can’t match most Iowa county roads.

But as Iowa Farm Bureau members learned last week during the 2020 Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) Market Study Tour, the Brazilian government has paved portions of BR-163, which connects Brazil’s soybean-growing heartland to river ports near the Amazon River.

“It’s a game-changer,” said Dave Miller, a consultant and former IFBF economist, who accompanied the 19 members on the market study tour. “It’s a very big deal that the road is finally paved.”

The improved highway has the potential to...

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