By Monte Reel
AGUA BOA, Brazil — Driving a farm truck across the mud roads of the eastern Amazon region is agony on axles, a careful slalom around slippery ruts and yawning craters. The scenery is unromantic: mostly cattle pasture and soybean fields, with the occasional stand of naked tree trunks charred by last year’s fires.
Farmers have an incentive to keep traveling these roads, though: money. The world’s soaring demand for beef and grains has turned this frontier into a ripe business opportunity, even as the forest has paid the price.
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