For any sceptics of the power of high prices to stimulate crop production, Australia is providing another example, with record soybean values sparking an attempt to turn the country into a force in the oilseed.
Cargill, the US-based agribusiness, has opened a drive to encourage Australian farmers to improve on the less than 40,000 hectares of the oilseed they currently grow, leaving the nation reliant largely on imports, which reached 560,000 tonnes last year, for soymeal supplies.
The group’s Melbourne-based AWB business is offering growers a support package including a Aus$10-per-hectare rebate on – non-genetically modified- seed and some production insurance in a drive to gain domestic supplies to feed its three mills, one of which has a vegetable oils refining plant attached.
And the hopes of the programme succeeding rest in part on the elevated prices of soybeans, which on Thursday hit a record high for a spot contract of $17.80 ¾ a bushel, besides the benefits of adding another option to growers’ choice for crop rotation.
“Soybean prices are very high at the moment. That has not always been the case,” AWB spokesman Peter McBride told Agrimoney.com.
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