Buenos Aires, July 30th. According to the RIA Consultores weekly report, during the first seven months of the year, Argentinean soybean breeders applied for the inscription of 31 new soybean varieties to the Seed National Institute (INASE as its Spanish acronym), a branch of the AgIndustry Ministry.

This amount surpasses the entire inscriptions from 2017 and even those from 2016. “We forecast a better year for new varieties registration, maybe in line with 2015, when 54 new soybean cultivars were registered in the INASE,”, say from RIA Consultores to www.eFarmNewsAr.

But, which are the companies that are registering new varieties this season? The largest is Asociados Don Mario (ADM), a breeding company based at Chacabuco (Buenos Aires Province) and headed by agronomist Gerardo Bartolome, who founded it in middles ’80. ADM is applying for the inscription of 20 new cultivars this year, or 64% of the total. But a special feature of this year is the fact that 11 of those 20 new varieties are no GMO. ADM is developing a breeding program of conventional soybean cultivars, targeting a global non-GMO market. Also, ADM is developing new varieties to the Brazilian market, with cultivars of VII and VIII maturity group.

This year, the second largest breeder is a cooperative: Criadero Santa Rosa, which are registering 3 varieties with RR1 technology, belonging to VI and VII Maturity Group. Criadero Santa Rosa was founded in 1992 by 24 cooperatives with the objective of bringing superior germplasm to farmers. Based at Rosario (Santa Fe Province), the company is supplying soybean genetic not only to Argentinean farmers but Paraguayan, Brazilian, Uruguayan and even SouthAfrican ones.

The list continues with Bayer, which acquired local breeding company FN Semillas in 2013 and commercialized the seed under Credenz brand. Now, the seed business of Bayer is moving to German BASF.

Nidera Semillas, Monsanto, Horus, and Sursem are applying for the inscription of one new cultivar each one. Nidera Semillas was originally acquired by Chinese COFCO, but then was sold to Syngenta (also in hands of a Chinese company). Horus is a local company, founded in 2011, which merged with Brazilian SeedCorp during 2017 to attend the South American market.

For its part, Sursem is a breeding company owned by Pampa Capital Group, based at Pergamino (Buenos Aires Province). Joint with Sursem, this fund bought Relmó, a traditional soybean breeder company, which was merged with Sursem in Argentina.

Two other breeders are registering new varieties this year: EEA Obispo Colombres and Mr. Dolinkue. The first one is a public-private research organization based in the North of the country (Tucuman Province) to supply basically cane sugar germplasm to farmers, but also soybean. Mr. Jorge Luis Dolinkue is a senior agronomist and soybean breeder, who are developing new varieties to VT Seeds, a regional company headed by Ricardo Reddy, a  former Nidera executive.

What happened the past years

During 2017 INASE registered 21 new soybean varieties. ADM was the large breeder, with 10 of them. But Bioceres was the second largest with 4 new cultivars, and Monsanto registered other 3 cultivars.

During 2016, 28 new varieties were registered and, once again, ADM led the rank with 13 of them. But Nidera was in the second place with 6 new materials.