The Pandemic Is Dragging Brazilian Farmers Into The Digital Age

The pandemic is accelerating a digital revolution in agricultural powerhouse Brazil by forcing farmers to buy equipment and get assistance online, according to Deere & Co. Lockdowns and social distancing are preventing the traditional face-to-face interaction between farmers and providers at dealerships and rural fairs, with both parties reverting to video conferencing or specialized application

Brazilian growers, who are younger than their U.S. counterparts on average, have adapted well to digital platforms as the virus keeps them on their farms, said Rodrigo Bonato, Intelligent Solutions Group director for Latin America at the world’s biggest tractor maker. Machinery sales are expected to match last year’s levels amid another bumper harvest, according to industry group Anfavea.

“The pandemic has caused a paradigm shift,” Bonato said in an interview. “People in the countryside need to be connected to the world, and the pandemic is accelerating that.” A lack of viable communications networks in rural areas has been a barrier to Brazilian growers tapping into databases and platforms that can help them lift yields and cut costs.

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