First it was cattle growers, then it was soybean farmers, and now Argentina wheat producers are moving their operations across the river to farmer-friendly Uruguay.
“Wheat producers, advisors, managers and investors who have left Argentina to manage their own farms or join forces with a local firm now account for 40% of the wheat sown in Uruguay,” writes La Nacion’s Fernando Bertello.
Ten years ago Argentina had 7 million hectares of land dedicated to wheat; today that number is 3.6 million as increasing government intervention and export restrictions forced more Argentina wheat producers to suelo uruguayo. Of the 450,000 hectares of wheat harvested in Uruguay last year, 200,000 were sown or managed by Argentine producers.
“The arrival of Argentines in Uruguay began with the 2002 crisis and devaluation. They grow wheat, because they have the know how, plus they have learned the agronomic differences of Uruguay (slopes, soil types, water availability) which are very important. In reality, they account for closer to 50% of wheat production in our country,” says Eduardo Blasina, one of Uruguay’s leading agribusiness advisors and FarmsUY director.
Most Argentine wheat producers who move to Uruguay do so in order to actually make a profit from their labor, something that is increasingly unattainable given Argentina’s current climate of export quotas and taxes.
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