Thesis Research Trip to Brazil Part 2: The Research Part

For the actual research part, I flew from Rio to Sao Paulo, where I met up with a team from WWF USA/Brasil, to join them on a field trip through the state of Sao Paulo, visiting sugarcane plantations, co-ops, mills, etc. It was a great experience, as well as being educational, it was also just great to get out in the Brazilian countryside.

Brazilian countryside - Lots of great weather and beautiful pastoral rolling landscapes

Sugarcane as far as the eye can see

Peanut harvesting (ish?) - tractor turning the peanuts out from the ground. Peanuts are used as a rotational cover crop with sugarcane. Funny enough, they only grow them for one season and not longer, because the market for peanuts, well, earns them 'peanuts' (not much).

Deep soil management - some new and experimental-ish stuff

Freshly planted (uncovered) sugarcane

Sugarcane mill - we were there in the off-season, when the mill wasn't running, so less interesting

Unbelievable vistas

Fresh peanuts

WWF USA team - investigating and asking about sugarcane

Young sugarcane crops

Experimental sugarcane transplanter

Antennae tower for precision agriculture - planting the rows along the topography of the fields

Sugarcane Planter

Sugarcane harvester - modified for harvesting billets (short stocks of sugarcane used for planting)

Explaining roughly which part is used for billets

Sugarcane seedlings - in the nursery, ready to go for trial planting

Plantation living

Cachaça - the whole cellar, that's all it was


Thesis Research Trip to Brazil Part 1: The not-so-research part

As part of the research for my thesis project, I went on a field trip to Brazil, to try and get some good insights into small-scale agriculture (the general scope for my project, which was at this point still quite loosely defined). It was quite the experience, complete with catching some bacteria or parasite or something that had me sick for close to half the trip.
Unfortunately everything I saw and witnessed there will have little bearing on my project direction, but the process did help lead me along the path to the direction I chose.
It's always the journey that takes you there.

ARN - AMS - early morning flight from Stockholm to Amsterdam, already the 2nd flight on the journey to Brazil

AMS - GIG - same morning, pre flight from Amsterdam to Rio, before being stuck in a seat for 12 hour straight

Rio approach - about 5 minutes before landing in Rio, going over the beautiful Brazilian mountains

Ipanema beach at sunset - so apparently the way the sun sets on this beach over those mountains gets applause on a daily basis. This was my introduction to Rio, having arrived in 42C weather.

UID reunite - my gracious hostess, Camila and I on Ipanema beach. It was great to reunite with a fellow UID student alum on the other side of the world, and have her be such a great host for my trip and help me out with planning - Brazilian hospitality.

Rio de Janeiro - view from a hike up sugarloaf mountain 

Rio de Janeiro - view of the downtown from the sugarloaf

The infamous Copa Cabana Beach Hotel

These guys everywhere - love the prevalence of the VW beetles

And these guys everywhere as well - the VW Busses were still being produced in Brazil this year!

And these ones too - the pickup utility VW kombi's


Umeå 2014 European Capital of Culture

The official opening ceremonies of the European Capital of Culture 2014 in Umeå took place yesterday, complete with a visit from the Crown Princess, and an inauguration ceremony officially called burning snow.

Umeå Stads Kyrka