Chia Harvest Update Argentina – July 2016
A heavy frost at the right time actually helps the chia harvest along, as the chia seeds are harvested once the plant has completed its life cycle and has dried up. A heavy frost can actually help “kill” the plants off, but when a heavy frost falls early, the plant can die before the seeds have reached full maturity, which is what has happened in a lot, but not all, of the growing regions in Argentina, Paraguar and Bolivia.
We already entered this season with less Chia sown than previous years, we presume this is to do with the large over supply we experienced with last harvest, however with less grown, and damage to the crop, Chia is again in demand with prices slowly rising again – something we couldn’t have imagined happening just months ago.
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Interesting story: On the rounds we were told of traces of roundup spray found in batches of Chia from Argentina. The cause of it was tracked back to some growers taking some shortcuts when growing their chia, mainly to avoid frost damage; they would sow earlier and then use roundup to kill off the crop as soon as the seeds were mature enough so they could harvest earlier without the risks other farmers faced with frost damage. This is obviously not best practises and none of the growers TradeLink deal with were caught up in this scandal.