Sustainable Agronomy: Agricultural Potential of Degraded Pastures in Brazil


A recent study led by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) integrated several data sources to determine Brazilian lands with intermediate and severe levels of degradation, offering extensive insights for sustainable development. This research represents a significant opportunity to expand the country’s agricultural production responsibly and efficiently.
Given this context, it is crucial to understand the aspects and potential of these degraded areas, aiming for efficient and sustainable conversion. This analysis brings new possibilities for agricultural growth and highlights the importance of integrated approaches and reliable data to guide policies and agricultural practices aligned with sustainability.

Mapping Conversion Potential

The mapping determined that approximately 10.5 million hectares of pastures show severe degradation, while another 17.5 million hectares have intermediate conditions. These areas have significant potential for agricultural conversion, with states such as Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, and Pará standing out. The study provides a solid foundation for implementing sustainable conversion practices and strategic planning in the agricultural sector.
By understanding the extent and geographical distribution of these degraded areas, resources and efforts can be directed more effectively, promoting the recovery and sustainable use of these lands for agricultural activities. This approach helps increase food production, contributes to environmental conservation, and mitigates the impacts of climate change.

Sustainable Practices and Environmental Considerations

The conversion of degraded pastures into agricultural areas requires the implementation of sustainable practices and consideration of crucial environmental aspects. Key practices include no-till farming, which assists in reducing erosion, improving water retention, and enhancing soil fertility over time. Additionally, integrated crop-livestock-forest systems aid biodiversity conservation and degraded areas’ recovery, while agroforestry plays a crucial role in biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation.
By adopting these sustainable practices, long-term productivity and sustainability of converted areas can be ensured, contributing to environmental conservation and the well-being of rural communities. These integrated approaches are essential for promoting a sustainable future for Brazilian agriculture.

Access the full study: Bolfe, É.L.; Victoria, D.d.C.; Sano, E.E.; Bayma, G.; Massruhá, S.M.F.S.; de Oliveira, A.F. Potential for Agricultural Expansion in Degraded Pasture Lands in Brazil Based on Geospatial Databases. Land 2024, 13, 200.