Farmers reflect on Argentina trip

Farmers from Indiana are reflecting on a recent trip to Argentina.

Monrovia Farmer Keevin Lemenager says American farmers have a lot to be happy about with ag infrastructure.

“We need to be very pleased with where we are as an ag industry here,” he says. “Things are a little outdated down there (in Argentina). Infrastructure is not in place to move the crop and equipment is a little behind where we are.”

Lemenager is chair of the Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership and Policy Committee.

Central Indiana Farmer Phil Ramsey said soybean growers in Argentina are facing a lot of challenges from weather conditions to policy.

“They have some good infrastructure in place but it’s not spread throughout the country and so a lot of the country has a real challenge getting their products moved to a major transportation whether it’s the road or the railroad or the river. They have a lot of issues there that holds them back to some degree,” he says. “They’re in a major drought this year so everybody we talked to was looking at about a 40 percent reduction in yields or production this coming year.”

He says soybean growers in that country pay a high tax.

“They don’t have in place the same system that we have in the United States with the checkoff and the policy side of things to really represent them with the government,” he says. “Soybeans pay a very high tax. I think it was 37 percent that the government takes from the soybean production. The ending amount that the farmers get there is extremely low in soybeans.”

Farmers from the Indiana Soybean Alliance traveled to Argentina late last month. Brownfield interviewed Lemenager and Ramsey during the recent annual policy breakfast of the ISA Membership and Policy Committee and the Indiana Corn Growers Association.

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