In the Rio Negro, infrastructure is a big issue. Electricity is not available in some areas. There are some paved roads but not a lot of them. Farmers there tend to be cattle producers.

“The main limitation is that it hasn’t developed because it is desert. We’ll grow cover crops to improve soil structure and organic matter. This past season we had grain sorghum and corn there. That’s the first time these fields grew cash crops,” he says.

“This year we’ll be testing soybean varieties from maturity groups II to IV. The latitude is comparable to northern Iowa.”

For Lorenzatti, expanding to Argentina’s edges made sense economically.

“Margins in the Pampas were starting to get smaller, so we decided to go outside the area. In the short-term, we have big complications in our agriculture due to government policies. However, in the mid-term and long-term, the global scenario for food production is extremely favorable. We’re hoping that the current situation will change and go more toward a favorable situation for the farm sector.”

Grupo Romagnoli produces seed in addition to growing and selling grain, and invests in biotech through Bioceres, an Argentine research co-op owned by a group of farmers.