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Brazil announces near-record harvest

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Conab: Good production, stable rainfall led to this year's near-record harvest
  • Bean production rose 10.6 percent this year; cotton up 2.1 percent, Conab says
  • Last year's harvest was until now second-largest despite drought in the south
  • Harvest season under way in Brazil
RELATED TOPICS
  • Brazil

(CNN) -- Brazil will have its second-best harvest in the nation's history this year, the government said.

The expected 143.95-ton harvest will nearly equal the record of 144.1 million tons set in the 2007-2008 season, said the state-owned food company, Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento.

Despite a drought in the south during the last growing season, the 2008-2009 harvest netted 135.1 million tons of crops, until now the second largest in Brazil's history. The drought affected Brazil's production of soybeans and corn, the nation's two largest crops.

Brazil also produces coffee, wheat, rice, sugar cane, cocoa, beans, cotton and citrus.

Good production and stable rainfall led to this year's near-record harvest, said the government's food company, known as Conab.

Soy production should reach 67.57 million tons, which is 10.4 million tons more than last year, Conab said.

Bean production increased 10.6 percent this year, and cotton went up by 2.1 percent, Conab said.

Agriculture Minister Reinhold Stephanes is expected to make an official announcement regarding the figures Tuesday.

The harvest season has started in Brazil because summer is ending in the Southern Hemisphere.

Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America, and the continent's leading economic power.