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August 24, 2018

New Soybean Variety in Argentina more Tolerant to Dry Weather

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

After a devastating drought during the 2017/18 growing season that decimated crops in Argentina, farmers in the country received a bit of good news this week. The company Indear SA, which is part of the Grupo Bioceres, announced the release of a new soybean variety that they claim is drought tolerant. The term drought tolerant may be a bit of a misnomer. It is probably more accurate to describe the new soybean variety as more tolerant to dry conditions than the current soybean varieties on the market.

The company indicated that the seed supply is not yet large enough for widespread sales, but there will be enough seed available to plant 10-20,000 hectares. Thus far, all the testing has been conducted on Bioceres's research properties, but the company will conduct yield trials on farmer fields during the 2018/19 growing season.

The new soybean variety was approved by the Argentine government in 2015 and the company is confident that will soon be approved for exports to China. The CEO of the company claims that if the soybean variety had been widely planted in Argentina during the 2017/18 growing season, it would have avoided the loss of approximately 5 million tons of soybeans due to drought.

Similar traits that make soybeans more tolerant to dry weather have been introduced in the United States as well. These traits are valuable for soybeans grown in the northwestern Corn Belt and southern Canada where summer rainfall can be more limited.