If you’ve been following grain market trends lately, you know the impact South American weather is having on futures prices. Argentina is in the midst of a three-year drought, with this year being the worst. Hoosier farmers with the Indiana Soybean Alliance are in Argentina now going on farm and farm facility tours.
“Some of the people that we’ve talked to that have been in the industry a long time are looking at least a 40% decrease in production,” Hendricks County farmer Mark Legan, an ISA director on the trip, told HAT.
He says the crops are late and there is still planting happening in Argentina. Comparatively, Legan says this would be about the end of July in Indiana’s growing season.
“They should be setting a lot of pods on the soybean plants; the corn should be tasseling. About the tallest corn we’ve seen is knee high or maybe waist high. So, they’re hurting. There’s no doubt about that.”
Legan adds that corn and soybeans aren’t the only crops that have suffered.
“The winter wheat crop was basically a failure. A lot of it did not even get harvested or wasn’t worth bringing a combine through.”
In addition to farm tours, Indiana Soybean Alliance directors have toured the facilities of GDM, an ag tech company specializing in plant genetics, as well as Status Company, a sister company of Purdue Ag Alumni Seed in Buenos Aires.
In a call with reporters Wednesday, the farmers said there were many takeaways from the trip. Marshall County’s Joe Stoller told us, “One thing I noticed was just how little technology some of the equipment that we saw had. I think we’ve seen one or two tractors in the field with auto steer… At home, that’s pretty common anymore.”
Others commented as well about the “well-used” equipment with many hours on them. With the production woes due to drought, many farmers don’t have the money necessary to replace equipment at this time, leading to fears of having to step away from farming.