May 16, 2018

Argentine Farmers Report Very Poor Quality Soybeans in Cordoba

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

After a davestating drought that reduced the 2017/18 Argentine soybean crop by approximately 20 million tons, an extended period of wet weather just as farmers were trying to finish harvesting their crop has led to more losses for farmers.

For the last 3-4 weeks, heavy rains have kept farmers out of the field in spite of the fact that many of their soybeans had been mature and waiting for harvest for several weeks. As of late last week, farmers in Argentina had harvested 65% of their soybean acreage.

Farmers in Cordoba returned to their fields over this past weekend to continue harvesting their soybean crop only to find out that the situation was worse than they had expected. Many farmers reported soybeans had sprouted in the pod, the seeds were very high moisture, moldy, shriveled, green, and of extremely poor quality.

The president of Coninagro, who is also a local farmer, declared his fields were a "disaster." He was already expecting a low yield of 2,000 kg/ha (29.6 bu/ac) due to the extended drought during the growing season. What he harvested was even lower at 1,800 kg/ha (26.6 bu/ac).

In addition, the quality of the seed was so poor that 40% to 80% of the seed must be discarded. Seed of such poor quality would probably be rejected by the local grain elevator. If the quality of the seed is slightly inferior, the grain elevator can blend it with better quality seed and still meet quality standards. If the quality is extremely bad, or if there is not any better quality seed available for blending, the gain elevator may simple refuse to accept the soybeans.

Either way, this is marking a very poor ending to an already very poor growing season.