Spain: Aragon Farmers Cultivate More Soybeans
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In 2021, a total of 632 hectares were cultivated, 70 more than in 2020, making Aragón the community with the highest Soybean production in all of Spain and the plant the perfect alternative for rotation with cereal. In other areas of Aragon, such as Los Monegros, Soybeans are beginning to be a deeply rooted crop in the territory each year.
Like the rest of the legumes planted between May and June, Soybeans are still considered a minor crop in the community. However, more and more farmers are betting on cultivating this highly valued species, both for human consumption and for the production of feed for its high protein value.
“For us, at first, it was complicated because it was something unknown; no one had ever cultivated it, and we didn’t have a reference like with wheat that your father or grandfather explained to you as they had done it all their lives,” says Rosendo Solano, a member of the Monegros Cooperative and Red Arax. “During these years, we have been testing different things, but now we have the most precise concepts, and we already know how to get the most out of it,” he explains.
Those who are dedicated to growing Soybean ensure that it is currently economically viable and that, in addition, it brings benefits to the land that are not achieved with corn or other summer crops. «Soybeans absorb nitrogen from the air, consume what they need, and fix what is left over in the earth. In this way, a much more nitrogenous, more fertile soil is achieved, with a texture and conditions that are perfect for planting cereals”, adds Solano.
Some cooperatives, such as Zuera and Sariñena, tested different Soybean seeds and varieties to introduce them into their fields in upcoming campaigns. In addition, the farmers point out that nitrogenous fertilizers or so many fertilizers are not necessary, which significantly reduces the inputs compared to the cultivation of other plants. “It is much cheaper and therefore more profitable to produce Soybeans than corn,” explains the farmer, who notes that the reduced chemical products also reduce pollution that the soil receives.
All the Soybean production carried out in the community stays in Europe since the continent is a great consumer with a demand of around 30 million tons each year. “In Europe, there is a large Soybean deficit, in the case of Aragon, and with what we produce, we only cover 7% of the demand, but little by little, it is growing, and we no longer depend on countries like Brazil that dedicate themselves to deforestation in the Amazon to cultivate a larger area”, says Solano.
Spain’s Soybeans Import
According to the AgFlow data, Brazil supplied 3.8 million tons of Soybeans to Spain in 2022, followed by the United States (79,910 tons), Ukraine (30,000 tons), and Canada (30,000 tons). In terms of Soybean meal, Argentina led the Spanish import market with 2 million tons in 2022, followed by Brazil (1.1 million tons) and India (36,000 tons). The following small suppliers were Romania, Russia, Paraguay, and Germany. The total import volume of Soybean and Soybean meals were 3.9 million tons and 3.2 million tons in the last year, respectively. Soybean oil import was only 0.1 million tons.
In 2020, Spain imported Soybeans worth $1.45 billion, becoming the world’s 7th largest importer of Soybeans. In the same year, Soybeans was Spain’s 41st most imported product. Spain imports Soybeans primarily from: Brazil ($942 million), the United States ($369 million), Canada ($58.1 million), France ($25.2 million), and Argentina ($16.4 million).
Other sources: EL PERIODICO DE ARAGON
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