The first agricultural colony was founded in compliance with the Bernardo Rivadavia civilizing principles in San Pedro, Buenos Aires province, in July 1825. But rural labour did not take off until the 1860s in the center and west of Santa Fe. In the framework of this great productive and colonizer movement, the Central Commercial Center of Rosario (today, Rosario Board of Trade) was founded in 1884 to contribut to the economic development of the region and the country, as it keeps doing nowadays.
In the two decades that followed, around 200 agricultural colonies were established in Santa Fe, followed by Entre Rios province with 130 colonies. Among the new agricultural configuration leaded by the central area of the country, wheat production –among other crops, as corn and flaxseed- started to grow exponentially. It is estimated that in 1870 more than 70,000 ha were seeded. In 1890 the figure reached 1.2 million ha, while for the crop year 1909/1910 it reached over 6 million ha. The historic record was archived in 1928, with 9.2 million ha.
The center and south of Santa Fe was without a doubt the great engine of the growth of the milling wheat crushing. In 1895 the seeded wheat seeded area in our province reached 1.03 millions ha, that represented 50,2 of the whole seeded area at a national level. This was expressed in more wealth circulation in the provincial territory and a strong spilling in from the country to cities, that began to grow dramatically. The industrial activity also expandid.
Our province can assume another milestone: the first grain export business of Argentina made effective in 1878 by traders from Rosario to Europe. This was the first wheat shipment that showed the great business courage of Carlos Casado del Alisal, pioneer of tha Santa Fe Bank, of the railway and visionary designer of the Candelaria (nowadays Casilda). 4,500 ton of grains where shipped in six vessels towards Glasgow. At the beginning, the vessels loaded the grains with other products, as meat or wool. The volume was not significant, but over the years the growth accelerated: ante in 1893 the external sales overcome the million tn, almost twice the domestic consumption at that time.
It is therefor clear the importance that Santa Fe province had during the first years of the development of wheat production in Argentina. Over the time its evolution was not free of problems, due to the economic factors, weather struggles and the interventions on the market that the different governments imposed. During the last years, the provincial seeded area averaged 700,000 ha giving place to a production over 2,0 million tons.
The wheat milling in Santa Fe recently range between 700,000 and 800,000 tons a year, representing almost 14% of the national total. With this almost 600,000tn meal tons a year, enough to cover the consumption requirements of 7 million people, assuming that the national average of 85-90kg meal per person is concrete. This means that here in Santa Fe arised the surged the raw material for the development of necessary wheat products (bread, cookies ante other bakery products) to feed each year the double of inhabitants that our province has.
According to information of the Rosario Board of Trade the wheat exports incomes of Argentina grew in 2016 to 2,71 million dollars, a 3,5% of the total national income of currency export incomes. According to privates, the agricultural sector provides in concept of exports 26,500 million dollars. The stock estimates that46% of exports in Argentina are generated by the production of grains and later industrialization (meal, pellets, oils, biodiesels and other by products). The wheat production in the cycle 2015/2016 was of 10,900 million ton. During the national government campaign 2016/2017 the national government estimated the wheat production in18.4 million tons, a 65% more than the previous campaign and an area of 6,36 6.36 millions ha., with an increase of 45,5%. The stocks and privates estimates are a little bit lower than this production estimate.
Santa Fe has a crucial role also in the grain exports. During the last five years was the starting pint of between 45 and 60% of the grain national shipments, achieved from the Rosario and San Lorenzo customs. If we take into account the banking, the commerce and transport, we will conclude that the whole chain rests here: financing, production, commerce, industry and ports. This chain has to keep growing in the future. I is a regional source of economic development very powerful and we need to know how to appreciate.