May 20, 2024

Argentina soybean crop struggling

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The Argentinean soybean crop is suffering due to drought conditions.

Indiana Soybean Alliance board members and staff saw the damage up close during a recent trip to the country.

“The crop is late, and we’re seeing varying stages of development,” said Mark Legan, a farmer from Coatesville.

“They’re in a multiyear drought, this year more so than others. The winter wheat crop was basically a failure. A lot of it didn’t even get harvested.”

Soybean development ranges from just planted to emerging to blooming, with some starting to develop pods.

“This is basically the end of July, Indiana time,” Legan explained. “They should be setting a lot of pods on soybean plants. They’re hurting, there’s no doubt. Some of the people who have been in the industry a long time are looking at an at least 40% decrease in production.”

The group visited several farms and learned about Argentinean agriculture on the trip.

“There are so many similarities with growers down here and also differences,” said Courtney Kingery, CEO of ISA.

“The transportation, how they store products in silage bags — so much of that is different. The older equipment, how they are 90% no-till, the size of the fields.

“But yet, when you get South American and Indiana growers together, there’s so much that’s similar between them. There’s passion for agriculture, land and families — wanting to do the best they can do to take care of their land and crops.”

Highlights of the trip included:

• Learning about Grupo Don Mario Seeds, an agricultural technology company that specializes in plant genetics. It offers soybean research, development and commercialization services. GDM claims that one-third of worldwide soybean production includes GDM genetics.

• A visit to the Ministry of Agriculture in Argentina in Buenos Aires.

• Status Company, which is a sister company of Purdue Ag Alumni Seed. This facility in Buenos Aires partners with Purdue. It includes a plant breeding nursery and is conducting trial planting of popcorn.

• Tour farm of Alejandro Calderon, who owns 2,400 acres and leases other land for crops. The primary crops on the Calderon farm include soybeans, corn, wheat, barley and green peas in addition to a herd of Aberdeen Angus beef cattle.

• Agro Uranga. This company in Rosario is a farm that produces commodities such as soybeans, wheat and other products primarily for export.

• Argentinean Soybean Association meetings.

• Louis Dreyfus grain terminal in Rosario on the Parana River Port. Louis Dreyfus has a large soybean crush facility in Claypool, Indiana, but it also has this grain terminal in Rosario, Argentina.

• Bolsa de Rosario Mercantile Exchange, also known as the Rosario Board of Trade. This is a nonprofit established in 1884 to conduct trade negotiations for several commodities.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor