This report presents an updated version of the geospatial analysis of soy expansion, taking into consideration the new boundaries of the Cerrado Biome, on a scale of 1:250,000 (IBGE, 2019), and has the objective to use satellite images to portray the dynamics of change in land use associated with soy crops. In addition, it extends the analysis to include the 2021/22 crop year.

The new version of the Brazilian Biome Map, made it necessary to align the analyses in this study with the new boundaries for the Cerrado Biome that suffered a change in area, going from 204.01 million hectares to 198.46 million hectares. Although this reduction corresponds to just 2.7%, the Biome lost 20.06 million hectares and gained 14.51 million hectares, thereby justifying this new assessment of soy expansion dynamics based on the new and more refined sizing of the Cerrado Biome.

The soy area has practically tripled over the last 21 years, going from 7.43 million hectares in 2000/01 to 21.43 million hectares in 2021/22. This area represents almost 11% of the Biome and 51.7% of Brazil’s current soy area, according to Agrosatélite’s survey based on satellite images. The average growth rate in the period 2001-2022 was 0.667 million hectares per year; however, this average annual rate has increased over the last two years to 1.321 million hectares (1.172 million hectares in 2020/21 and 1.470 million hectares in 2021/22). In MATOPIBA, the soy area went from 0.965 million hectares in 2000/01 to 5.086 million hectares in 2021/22, more than a fivefold increase, taking this region’s share in the Cerrado’s soy area from 13% to 24%. In Other States, the soy area went from 6.47 million hectares in 2000/01 to 16.35 million hectares in 2021/22, a 2.5-fold increase representing 76% of the Cerrado’s current soy area.

A detailed analysis of the dynamics of the change in land use and cover associated with the soy expansion of 5.89 million hectares in the period 2013/14 to 2021/22 shows that change occurs both through incorporation of new areas from the conversion of native vegetation or intensification of land use from the conversion of pastures, and through agricultural management practices from crop rotation or fallow land. In Other States, expansion due to intensification (expanding onto pastures) amounted to 2.81 million hectares and expansion with deforestation amounted to 0.19 million hectares. In MATOPIBA, the expansion of only 0.40 million hectares was onto pastures, while 0.70 million hectares was expansion with deforestation. In both regions, a significant part of the soy expansion was onto land that was fallow in the 2013/14 crop year (2.25 million hectares).

Based on the analyses carried out in this study, the Cerrado Biome’s soy expansion trend has continued in an accelerated manner over the last two crop years. In the most recent period, soy expansion onto land converted from native vegetation is relatively low in the Other States region, but still persists in MATOPIBA.

Report available below:

Geospatial Analysis of Soy Crop on the Cerrado biome 2021/22:

an updated and revised analysis using the biome’s new boundaries

view report

The geospatial analysis of soybeans in the Cerrado biome has just undergone an update that considers the soybean expansion since crop year 2000/01, emphasizing the period from 2013/14 to 2018/19. The study incorporates a broad analysis of the land use and land cover change associated with soy expansion, as well as a reanalysis of the soy agricultural aptitude in terms of edaphoclimatic conditions and restrictions to slope and altitude.

The study was financed by ABIOVE, the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries, motivated by the formulation of a financial compensation mechanism in exchange for preserving the surplus of native vegetation in soybean-producing properties of the Cerrado biome.

Report available below:

Geospatial Analysis of Soy Crop on the Cerrado biome 2001/2019

view report

Also check the reports of previous studies in the Cerrado biome:

In 2021, Agrosatélite carried out a study involving 61 municipalities considered to be critical to the Soft Commodities Forum in terms of native vegetation conversion to soy []. The study aims to understand in depth the conditions of the soy-producing municipalities that have most converted native vegetation in the Cerrado biome to soy in recent years. Among others, the study provides subsidies for the six companies participating in this initiative, ADM, Bunge, Cargill, COFCO, LDC, and Viterra, to develop actions that reduce native vegetation conversion to soy in these municipalities.

Latest progress report is available below:

Agrosatélite also has an unprecedented study for the Amazon biome similar to the one performed for the Cerrado biome, with financial support from Gibbs Land Use and Environment Lab of Wisconsin University.

Análise Geoespacial da Soja no Bioma Amazônia 2000/2017

view report




One of the most successful examples of the power of remote sensing technologies to yearly evaluate crop area is Canasat, originating at Inpe in 2003 under the care of a research team from which the Agrosatélite partners would emerge — the company assumed responsibility for the execution of the project in mid 2013. Canasat currently maps the sugarcane cultivated area in the South-Central and the Northeast regions of Brazil, through images from the satellites Sentinel-2A and -2B and Landsat 8. The analysis results in an estimate of the sugarcane area available for harvest at the beginning of the crop year. Moreover, the project provides support for a most comprehensive analysis of the available sugarcane for sugar and ethanol production. Examples of this are the annual rates of sugarcane renovation, the expansion or retraction of sugarcane plantations, and the land use/land cover changes related to the the crop’s expansion. It was also fundamental to various academic scientific studies related to the sector.

The Sugarcane Industry Association of São Paulo (Unica) is a user of the information generated by Canasat since 2003 — today the annual sugarcane area estimation project based on remote sensing is the longest-running in Brazil.


Soy Moratorium – agriculture and conservation



The Soy Moratorium has completed 15 years of existence, during which time it has always maintained its firm commitment to eliminate deforestation from the soy production chain. From the time it was first implemented, the Moratorium has invariably used the most advanced monitoring and mapping mechanisms to ensure that the soy produced in the Amazon Biome and traded by the Moratorium’s signatories is free from deforestation.

The Moratorium is the world’s most successful example of reconciling the development of large-scale agricultural production and environmental sustainability in its most critical aspect: zero deforestation. The Soy Moratorium has not suppressed the expansion of soy in the Amazon Biome but, rather, it has directed production into those areas that were deforested before the Moratorium was implemented, seeking to promote agricultural development in a sustainable manner.

Foram identificados 147 mil ha de soja em desacordo com a Moratória que corresponde a 2,5%. do total cultivado com a oleaginosa na safra 2020/21, no bioma Amazônia, ou seja, 97,5% da área de soja cultivada no bioma Amazônia não está associada à conversão florestal demonstrando a eficácia da Moratória.

See the full report for the 2020/21 harvest that describes the methodology and presents the detailed results of soy monitoring in the Amazon biome.


The Soy Moratorium’s main objective is to ensure that soy produced and marketed in the Amazon biome is no longer associated with conversion of native vegetation. It completed 13 years in crop year 2018/19 and every day it is acquiring more strength due to its highly relevant role in assuring sustainable soy production in the Amazon biome for both international and national markets that demand soy produced with zero deforestation.

A Moratória não coíbe a expansão da soja na Amazônia, mas encoraja seu plantio em áreas desflorestadas antes de 2008, evitando assim novas conversões de floresta para soja, promovendo o desenvolvimento agrícola com sustentabilidade ambiental. A eficácia da Moratória é demonstrada pela gradual expansão de quase 4 milhões de hectares de soja ao longo dos últimos 13 anos com uma parcela de apenas 1,8% sobre novos desmatamentos.

In order to identify soy fields that are not compliant with the Moratorium, Agrosatélite carries out a rigorous monitoring process involving the analysis of thousands of images acquired by several earth observation satellites. Given the territorial extent of the biome and the frequent rainfall during the crop growing season, the soy monitoring in post-2008 deforestations becomes a challenging activity that takes advantage of every technological innovation to improve the monitoring process.

The Soy Working Group (GTS), made up of companies associated with ABIOVE and ANEC, and organizations from the civil society, is responsible for the governance and operation of the Moratorium.

See the full report of crop year 2018/19 that describes the methodology and presents detailed results of the soy monitoring in the Amazon biome


Access the ABIOVE website for more information.





In 2016, Agrosatélite was selected by the National Water Agency (ANA) to map sugarcane areas being irrigated under different water throughout the South-Central region of the country in the 2015/16 crop year. The study identifies the existence of 1.7 million hectares of irrigated sugarcane, equivalent to 17.2% of the sugarcane plantations in the region. Of these, only 27,300 hectares (1.6%) were under major irrigation regime.

Now Agrosatélite has returned to the project, assuming responsibility for updating the study for the 2017/18 crop year and including the country’s Northeast region. Additionally, six centers of various irrigated crops in diverse regions of Brazil are mapped using meteorological and remote sensing data, offering a methodological basis for expanding the coverage of crop irrigation maps in the future.





More than half of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Brazil result from land use/land cover changes. Agrosatélite was selected by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC) to update Brazil’s land use/land cover map for the IV National Communication (4CN), to meet the country’s obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

To perform the task, the company has a unit dedicated to the project, comprising a multidisciplinary team entirely concentrated on the processing and interpretation of thousands of Landsat and Sentinel images acquired during key periods, considering the dynamics of land use/land cover change in each biome.

With this project, Agrosatélite has the opportunity to produce excellent maps for reliably estimating the GHG emissions due to land use/land cover changes over the 2010–2016 period