Some grain production analysts are calling for another extraordinary wheat harvest in Argentina, on the back of a record-setting year for 2018/19.
“Last season we had a record harvest in our country,” says Javier Preciado Patiño with eFarmNews. “Farmers collected 150 million tons of grain, basically: corn, 55 million tons, wheat, 25 million tons, and soybeans, 56 million tons.”
Patiño joined RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney last week to discuss the state of agriculture in the country, saying there has been a dramatic increase in both corn and wheat production. For soybeans, it’s another story.
“Well, Argentina is the third-largest world soybean producer, but the government imposed a tax export on soybeans,” says Patiño. “It’s a very complex issue. For example, if the international price of soybeans is, for example, $300/ton, farmers receive $200/ton.”
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The tax is encouraging farmers to grow other crops, such as corn.
“It’s a fiscal need. The government needs money, and the more easy result for collect money is the soybean exports, and then they apply an export tax of 30 per cent on the full price of the soybeans – it’s incredible.”
As for cattle producers, positive trade relations have increased bottom lines, with roughly 27 per cent of beef production being exported, largely to China.
“But the beef production doesn’t increase like the exports,” says Patiño, saying Argentinians eat about 50kg of beef per year, per capita, down from 60kg some years ago. “We are replacing in our domestic consumption, beef with pork or poultry.”
Overall, says Patiño, yields have been good, farmers are paying off debts, and there is much optimism about the next round of harvests in the country.