May 11, 2018
Seed multipliers: a role that is for more
It is the link, between the biotechnological companies and the producers, that conditions the grains of autogamous species (wheat, soy, etc.) for higher quality sowings.

In the business of the production of seeds of wheat, barley and soybean (autogamous species) in Argentina there is a fundamental link in the chain that are the multipliers, also called cooperators.

These are those in charge of increasing the original seed provided by the breeders, producing it in the field, processing it in classification plants and selling it to producers as certified bags, in 40 kg containers or in big bags as an alternative that has been growing in the last campaigns.

Cooperators are officially more than 300 and are distributed throughout the country, but only about 10-12 (EBC, Los Grobo, Pelayo, La Bragadense, F and D, El Azul in Tucuman, Agro Nasaja, La Belgica, San Diego, Viel, Cooperativa de Arequito, of Coronel Bogado, of San Justo, among the most important) are in the upper segment of those that usually multiply more than 100,000 certified bags of soybeans. At the other extreme, the youngest certify between 3,000 and 5,000 bags. The majority of soybean cooperators are also wheat multipliers, although a few only make soy (especially in the north of the country) and very few make only wheat and barley.

A large part of the main multipliers are installed in the Nucleus zone, some in the west and southeast of Bs. As., Others in Córdoba and Entre Ríos and very few in the NEA and NOA.

There is no defined figure that encompasses or personalizes the profile of this entrepreneur; Many are collectors, some are cooperatives that mainly cater for the demand of seeds from their partners, some are commercialization companies of supplies with branches in various locations, but few are dedicated exclusively to multiplication.

In our country, around 30 million bags of 40 kg are currently needed to plant the almost 18.5 million hectares of the last season, taking a national average that would indicate that 65 kg of seed / ha would be used. . This value is lower than 10 years ago when they were planted on average 78 kg / ha. Part of this reduction has to do with the improvement in the coefficients of achievement and in the quality of seed that has been used.

In Argentina, the multiplication process has improved a lot in recent years. Every time things are done better in the field, and a large number of plants have been professionalized, with state-of-the-art machinery. Laboratories work increasingly integrated with multipliers and became a fundamental partner.

There are two most important factors that modify every year the percentages of use of legal bags, in a cake of percentages in which bid with the "white bag" (informal trade) and own use. One is the genetic renewal of materials by companies (the years of launching successful and very winning varieties in both wheat and soybeans have triggered sales of legal bags). In the second place, the climatic condition is carved: when the year is complicated, the producer finds it much more difficult to obtain quality and usually resorts to legal purchase in a store.

However, the soybean and / or wheat cooperator / multiplier is a fundamental gear in the production of seeds in our country. They are SMEs distributed throughout the country, which have incorporated modern machinery for classification and curing technologies. They also have a great professional development (engineers specialized in the production of seeds) in the field tasks, as in the technicians involved in the industrial processes within the plant.

Laboratories and professional curing

The industrial curing from origin is a technology that grows much slower than what was expected when it started a few years ago. In general, producers who try "ready-to-use seed" never again heal on their own in the field; but in spite of that, the adoption of this technology takes time to start. Although it is a bit more expensive than traditional curing in the field, the advantages are that the processes are accelerated for the sower, the seed is manipulated in a professional way and exact doses are used that cover all the seeds equally and guarantee quality.

There are many laboratories that analyze the quality of the seed, distributed throughout the country, but they are less officially recognized by the seed breeders that approve that the seed is in commercial conditions according to the current INASE standards.

The laboratories are indispensable to avoid that the seed that does not achieve quality does not reach the plants, to monitor the quality during the storage and above all to approve the quality once it was finished with the whole classification and curing process.

In addition to the PG and the Cold test, purity and phytopathological analyzes are fundamental to recognize the final quality of the seed and recommend the correct use of fungicides and densities.

With these technological tools, the multipliers are responsible for the commercialization of 25% and 30% of the bags of soybeans and wheat needed to sow the entire surface of said crops in the country, respectively. In the medium term that number should double, as a result of the possible entry into force of a new Seed Law aggiornada to current production conditions (see box), the arrival of new technologies, to greater control by the INASE and the AFIP of the declarations of own use of the producers, and of the practicality in a model that tends to be more efficient with the logistics of dispatches and with the offer of a seed ready to use.

It requires, on the other hand, a greater number of actors committed to this growth and a greater demand with producers willing to get involved in the multiplication agreements.

For today's photo, the bet is mainly to continue growing in scale, increase storage capacity, encourage greater use of the big bag, or bulk in the case of wheat, and have better seed treatment centers with curators Last generation.

In short, this is an industry that has been betting for a long time, that expects with expectation the arrival of the new Seeds Law, and that seeks to continuously improve both its production in the field, as in the processes within the plant, and in the logistics of efficient distribution of the seed.

These actors are elementary in this chain and know that they must respond both to the standards and qualities of genetics companies, as well as to the quality demanded by their clients, the producers; but they accept this demanding challenge with chivalry.

And they are ready to grow.

By Ing. Agr. Guillermo Alonso (Technical Advisor Sale and Aftersales of Los Grobo Agropecuaria) - Special for Clarín Rural.
Automatic translation from spanish.

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