Jan. 29, 2019
Rapeseed is the third most grown oilseed in the world, while today it is still a niche crop in South American countries and not known by many farmers. Nevertheless, oilseed rape fits perfectly to the conditions in most countries in the southern hemisphere and it offers a huge potential for farmers due to the high profits. It also helps to diversify the crop rotation and improves soil fertility.
Even though today’s oilseed rape acreage is only 35,000 hectare, the crop has a long history in Argentina reaching back to the 1930s. During the 1940s, the oil industry used more than 40,000 tons of rapeseed per year for local crushing but the production decreased sharply towards the 1960s. The national agricultural technology institute known as INTA together with the Agroindustrial Institute of Oilseeds (IADO) encouraged the introduction of different varieties to Argentina for many years.
DSV is one of the leading companies in breeding and distribution of oilseed rape and the crop is also one of the corner stones in the company’s strategy for Argentina. The most important step was to find varieties of spring and winter oilseed rape that are best adapted to the different regions and conditions to offer the highest profit and yield stability to growers. This goal in mind, DSV established a network of trials in Argentina and neighboring countries for several years and has a wide portfolio of registered varieties in spring and winter oilseed rape.
Another very important topic is the implementation of the proper production technology and the transfer of knowledge to technical advisors and farmers. Further, it is necessary to bring all stakeholders together in the value chain from the growers to the crushers and exporters. As a starting point in this process, DSV Semillas organized a South American rapeseed network meeting with participants from the whole value chain.
This event started with a short introduction by Gonzalo Luna and Daniel Westermann, both responsible for business development in South America at DSV. The well-known Argentinian rapeseed expert Ing. Liliana Iriarte from INTA Tres Arroyos gave a presentation about rapeseed production in Argentina. One major outcome of her long term trials and experiences that she explained: "It is a good crop, which can be planted well in late April or early May, when the fields are free and one of its great advantages is that, being short-cycle, it releases the fields early in mid-October. This is beneficial because it allows growing a second soybean on a good sowing date. The soybean on rapeseed stubble yields more than on stubble of wheat or barley and, although the costs are somewhat higher, the price of the ton is higher, which compensates and makes it viable." From the economic point of view, a minimum yield of 1,5 tons per hectare must be reached to compensate for the production cost of oilseed rape. With the today’s high yielding hybrids in combination with the right production technology the yield potential is far higher and this will give more growing commitment to oilseed rape.
The inclusion of rapeseed in the crop rotation appears as a very encouraging option especially in typical wheat regions where until now cereals are the only winter crops. With its strong and deep root oilseed rape is able to reach nutrients and water in deeper soil horizons.
"Rapeseed is a complementary crop to wheat and not an alternative to it, since it occupies a place in the rotation and accompanies winter crops as one more member of them," said by an industry expert. "This oilseed," he added, "is asking to make its niche since it spread very well in the core wheat zone, competing with very high yielding wheats; but it is true that its massive implementation takes place in areas where the cereal does not ensure potential results. It is known that whoever sows rapeseed will be able to advance the sowing date of the subsequent crop, which is a considerable advantage. Based on this, the situation favors the summer crop and allows growing a first class soybean. The big challenge in Argentina today is to make the rapeseed definitely enter the rotation of the farmers.”
After the presentations, the agenda was complemented by a field tour guided by Fradio Perez, DSV field advisor and product manager for South America and Dr. Alexander Döring, product manager for oilseed rape at DSV in Germany. On the field, all participants discussed about production technology as well as the OSR hybrids offered by DSV. The portfolio 2019 includes the winter types Marathon and Phoenix CL as well as the spring oilseed rape hybrids Smilla, Solar CL and Atomic TT.
Today, for most of Argentina’s farmers OSR is just a winter crop and unconventional, but the potential is huge. If all hurdles in growing technology and commercialization can be managed, oilseed rape will be an important diversification to the crop rotations in Argentina, delivering a benefit for soil quality, improving the conditions of the following crops as well, and most important, to farmers profit.
DSV Semillas was founded in March 2017 in Argentina, with the intention and mission of taking the global message of DSV and supplying the constantly growing demand of markets such as Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
Our experienced DSV Semillas team, consisting of Fradio Perez (Product Manager), Mercedes de la Colina (Sales Assistant) and Gonzalo Luna (Sales and Business Development Manager) is offering a full portfolio of spring and winter oilseed rape, forage and turf grasses, corn, wheat as well as cover crops.