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December 13, 2019

Argentina has Approximately 65,800 Soybean Producers

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

It has always been difficult to get reliable information about Argentina agriculture even from the Argentine government. Seed companies have known for a long time that a significant portion of the seed sold in Argentina is from non-certified sources.

As a way to track seed sales, the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries last year instituted a registry of soybean farmers in Argentina where they had to declare the number of acres they planted to soybeans along with the soybean varieties used. The goal of the registry was to aid the National Seed Institute in identifying and preventing illegal seed sales.

Reporter Javier Preciado Patino published an article on December 4th in eFarmNews detailing the results of the registry. For the 2018/19 growing season, 59,414 individuals responded to the registry representing 15.3 million hectares of soybean production (37.8 million acres). The total soybean planted acreage in Argentina in 2018/19 was approximately 17.0 million hectares (42 million acres), so if we do an extrapolation, there are approximately 65,800 individuals (persons or companies) that grew soybeans in Argentina in 2018/19.

Approximately 85% of the soybean farmers are located in only three provinces - Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, and Cordoba. In the core production areas, soybean production has a longer history, so the soybean acreage per farmer is smaller. For example, the average soybean acreage in Santa Fe province is 147 hectares (363 acres). In contrast, in northern provinces such as Salta, soybean production is a newer endeavor and as a result the acreage is larger. In Salta, the average soybean acreage per farm is 937 hectares (2,314 acres).

One third of the farmers in Argentina planted over 80% of all the soybeans, so this one third of the farmers averaged 700 hectares (1,730 acres).

Illegal seed sales in Argentina continues to be an ongoing concern. The National Seed Institute certified 304,000 tons of soybean seed in 2018/19, which was the lowest volume since the 2012/13 growing season when they certified 430,000 tons.