MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY – Soybean acreage in Uruguay in marketing year 2022-23 is forecast to expand by 9% to 1.23 million hectares, up 100,000 hectares from the previous year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The increase is being spurred by higher international prices for soybeans, the report said.

“At least 50,000 of the new hectares will be double-crop soybeans on land newly planted to wheat, barley and rapeseed,” the USDA said. “Even higher prices are unlikely to bring more hectares to production immediately because producers have learned which areas can be profitably farmed during the last period of high prices. During that period, some areas that were speculatively planted were later found to be unproductive.”

With a return to trend for yield, total soybean production is projected at 2.8 million tonnes, a 5% decline from 2021-22, the USDA said.

The agency noted that soybean yields in Uruguay this year are “exceeding expectations due to well-timed rains,” in contrast to the dry conditions in neighboring Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.