First commercial agriculture enterprises to start up in the cerrados were extensive livestock operations
Changed dramatically in late 1970s with the development of the "tropical" soybean and with new techniques for managing cerrado soils
Viable crop agriculture in the cerrados brought a mass population movement into the region. Most of the migrants were farmers from southern states of Brazil
Cheap land was the attraction; for every hectare of land they sold elsewhere, they could buy 10 to 40 hectares in the cerrados.
At the outset of the migration in the early 1980s, a hectare of Western Bahia land could be bought for the equivalent of the price of a pack of cigarettes. Today, virgin land sells for US$250 or less per hectare.