Argentina Agriculture: Production area and Crops
Updated October 26, 2020
The agriculture in Argentina is one of the main economic activities that not only caters to the country, but that the surplus is exported.
Argentina has a continental area of about 2.8 million square kilometers and has around 37,5 million hectares of agricultural crops.The main crops that occupy this area are: soybeans, wheat, corn, sunflower, sorghum and barley.
Panorama of agriculture in Argentina
The 6 main crops and their production in millions of tons:
Soy: 56.5 MTn, Corn: 51.5 MTn, Wheat: 19.0 MTn, Sunflower: 3.9 MTn, Barley: 3.8 MTn, Sorghum: 2.5 MTn. The production of the 6 main crops in Argentina amounts to 137 MTn. See more >>
Argentina has 37,411,993 productive ha (2018 Census), of which 14,391,625 ha correspond to the cultivation of oilseeds (38.5%), 11,387,352 ha are used for cereal production (30.4%), and 7,938,960 ha to forage crops (21.2%). See more >>
1st world exporter of soybean flour and oil, peanut oil and manufacture, lemon juice and essential oil, organic fresh fruit to the EU, and yerba mate.
2nd world exporter of fresh lemons, and must.
3rd world exporter of corn, garlic, oils and fats, flour and sunflower oil.
2nd world producer of yerba mate
3rd world producer of soybeans and soybean meal
4th world producer of corn, lemon, soybean oil and biodiesel based on soybean oil, seed and sunflower oil.
Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Santa Fe: they concentrate 75.84% of the surface destined to the production of oilseeds, and they add up to 72.7% of the implanted area that corresponds to cereals.
Mendoza, Tucumán and San Juan: the three provinces, in decreasing order, add up to 58% of the fruit planted area.
Salta, Córdoba and Santiago del Estero: stand out in the cultivation of legumes, in decreasing order.
Agricultural activity takes place in three zones: temperate, subtropical and arid; that are differentiated by their climatic conditions and their aptitude for agriculture. The different soils and climates of the country offer a diversity of agricultural productions, adapted to the possibilities of each region. See more >>
Main crops in Argentina Farming 2018/2019
TOTAL AREA AND PRODUCTION OF THE 6 MAIN CROPS
Fuente: Bolsa de Comercio de Rosario
Argentina Agricultural crop by climate areas
According to the prevailing climate, the country is divided into mild, sub-tropical and arid regions. The different soils and climates in the country, offer a variety of agricultural products, adapted to the possibilities of each region.
Argentina Agriculture in Mild Climate Area:
The mild climate zone is formed by the southern part of the Platense plain or Pampean plain. Its plain relief, the fertility of its soil, its surface area and of course its mild climate make this region one of the best in the world for agricultural activity.
It basically comprises the Pampa plain, where the following commodities are grown.
Argentina is one the first 10 wheat producers in the world. It is grown in the province of Buenos Aires and the croplands alternate with sunflower, potatoes and pasturing. In Córdoba, Santa Fe and Entre Ríos, wheat alternates with corn, soy and pasturing. Furthermore, you can find rice and pasturing crops such as alfalfa, oats, barley and rye.
The so-called “oilseed complex” is today the main export bloc and one of the pillars of the national economy. The stars that make Argentine oilseed production shine, in the world context, are the sunflower and soybeans, which continually improve their genetics and lead to increases in production.
The main oilseed crop is soybeans, followed in importance by sunflower. They are also produced, although in very small proportion, safflower, canola and flax.
The main producing provinces are Córdoba, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires, which together represent 84% of the national total.
Argentina is the world’s largest supplier of oil and soybean meal and the third largest supplier of corn.
65% of the total production is represented by the following vegetables: potato, tomato, onion, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, lettuce and garlic. Another 6 species participate with 20%: chard, cassava, zucchini, corn, aubergine and pepper. In the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fé, Córdoba, there is the biggest potato output.
Fruits such as citrus, peaches and plums are the favorites in the Rosario and San Pedro areas. While in Entre Ríos, mandarins, oranges and lemons stand out.
The 90 % of the floricultural surface is in the Pampa plain. Due to the high capital investment, the quantity of labor involved and the demand of production factors, the rate of this activity is intensive. It is also characterized by the small surface of the output units and by its high profitability.
According to a report prepared by the Secretaría de Desarrollo Rural y Agricultura Familiar de la Nación, 50% of the total Argentine flower production is concentrated in the Province of Buenos Aires, particularly in the municipalities of La Plata, José C. Paz, Moreno, Escobar, Pilar, Exaltación de la Cruz, Florencio Varela and Berazategui.
Argentina Agriculture in Sub-tropical climate area:
In the Misiones plateau and in Corrientes are crops of yerba mate, tung-oil-tree, and tea. Tung-oil-tree comes from Asia and adapted very well to this region, being used for wood polishing. Over 80 per cent of the domestic cotton produce can be found in the Chaco plain. Fruits and vegetables are grown in Santiago del Estero.
The subtropical zone is divided into eastern, central and western.
Crops in the eastern subtropical zone
Located in the northeast of Argentina, is the missionary plateau and the province of Corrientes where yerba mate, tung and tea are harvested. Tung is an oilseed originating from Asia that adapted very well to this region and is used for polishing wood.
Crops in the central subtropical zone
It is located in the center and north of Argentina, it is integrated by the Chaco plain. There, more than 80% of the national cotton production is harvested; as well as in Santiago del Estero, where fruit and vegetables are also grown.
Crops in the western subtropical zone
Located northwest of the Argentine territory. In this region, in the Lerma Valley area, cereals, tobacco, sugar cane, soybeans and cotton are harvested. On the other hand, in the Calchaquíes valleys, they stand out for their vineyards that provide exquisite wines, as well as citrus and tropical fruits. Finally, we have the production of lemons in Tucumán, which is considered one of the most important in the country.
Argentina Agriculture in Arid Climate Area:
The arid zone occupies 75% of the territory of Argentina. Agricultural activity in this area, given the lack of rainfall, takes place where it is possible to use the water of the rivers for irrigation.
Desaguadero Basin in Cuyo
This is the case of the Desaguadero Basin in Cuyo, where the the vineyards account for most of the crop area of Mendoza, San Juan and La Rioja. This region in the Andean Patagonia, uses the irrigation of the meltwater from the rivers of the Cordillera de los Andes.
This region presents climatic difficulties to cultivate the soil. Nevertheless, grapevines turn La Rioja into the third domestic producer. In Cuyo, the vineyards account for most of the crop area.
Alto Valle del Río Negro
In extra-Andean Patagonia, the Alto Valle del Río Negro stands out, dedicated to agricultural activity with the cultivation of apples and pears and their agro-industrial application.
This region is located on the banks of the Negro River formed by the confluence of the Limay and Neuquén rivers. Located north of the extra-Andean Patagonia in Argentina, this area is characterized by its intensive agriculture and low irrigation of fruit trees.
This is an abridged version of the report on economic activities.
The full version is available only in Spanish: Agricultura Argentina
- Asociación Argentina Pro Trigo: Cultivated area and production of wheat from 1995
- INTA: Maps with areas of crops of corn, wheat, sorghum, soybean, sunflower.
- SIIA: Sistema Integrado de Información Agropecuaria. Estadísticas de la Dirección de Información Agropecuaria y Forestal, Subsecretaría de Agricultura. Agricultural Statistics.
- Fernando Bertello (28/04/2014) Sharp drop in the countryside in 10 years. Diario La Nación.
- INET: Instituto Nacional De Educación Tecnológica. Horticulture in Argentina Final Report.
- MINCYT: Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva. Sobre el perfil sectorial de la producción de Frutas Cítricas: Weaknesses and technological challenges of the Productive Sector Citrus Fruits in Corrientes, Entre Ríos and Tucumán.
- EEAOC: Reporte Agroindustrial Relevamiento satelital de cultivos en la provincia de Tucumán. Harvested Area and Production of Sugarcane and Sugar for 2018 in Tucuman Zafra
- Argentina, the world’s leading exporter of pears. Suplemento Supercampo. Diario Perfil
- Víctor Rau. (2008) Yerba Mate in Misiones (Argentina). Structure and meaning of a production. IV Congreso Internacional de la Red SIAL. Mar del Plata. Argentina.
- SPE: Subsecretaria de Programación Microeconómica: Cadena de valor del tabaco. Mayo 2019
- MINAGRI: Characterization of the Tobacco Producer Sector in Argentina. UCA: Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias Centro de Altos Estudios Jorge Gándara.