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August 10, 2017

2016/17 Argentine Soy Crop has Lowest Protein Content in 20 Years

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

According to scientists at the Cereal and Oilseed Industrial Quality Division of the National Agricultural and Livestock Technology Laboratory, the 2016/17 Argentine soybean crop has the lowest average protein content of any crop in over the past 20 years.

The average protein content of the 2016/17 crop was 37.1% compared to the average over the last twenty years of 38.4%. This is the fourth year in a row of low protein in Argentina's soybean crop, which is an important issue since Argentina is the largest soybean meal exporter in the world.

In order to produce high protein soybean meal, which is 46.5% protein, the soybean seed needs to have a protein content of 37.5% to 38.0%.

The lead scientist, Martha Cuniberti, attributes the low protein to environmental factors during the growing season. She estimates that the genetic makeup of the various soybean varieties is only responsible for 3% of the protein expression, while environmental factors are responsible for 56% to 60% of the protein expression. The laboratory analyzed over 50,000 samples to reach their conclusion.