Argentina may be about 10 years behind the United States in adoption of precision farming technology, but the country is probably 20 years ahead in adoption of no till practices.
That was one of the most interesting bits of information I gleaned about Argentinean farming during the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) 2013 Congress in Argentina last week.
The Argentinean No Till Farmers Association – Aapresid – was created in 1989 with the goal of helping farmers in the country adopt no-tillage practices on their farming operations. “Nowadays, about 80% of our crops are done by no till,” said Martin Descalzo Souto with the organization. That compares with about 35-40% here in the United States.
“It was a very important saving of fuel so it was economically important for the farmer, and they also have an important saving of water,” Souto said, adding there are some areas of the country that can only be planted without tillage.
Aapresid is now taking no-till to the next level by providing a certification program for farmers who keep records of their practices and use crop rotation to reduce chemical use and improve soil. “We are looking at it not just as a practice but as a process,” said Souto.
Adoption of even the most basic precision technology is becoming more prevalent in Argentina, but Souto says they still need agronomists to work with that information for it to become more widespread. Interview with Martin Descalzo Souto, Argentinean No Till Farmers Association