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‘From Pampas to Progress’: Argentinian crop specialist shares insights into ecologically intensified cropping systems

In the latest Yara Crop Nutrition podcast, the presenters delve into the heart of modern agriculture with Dr. Fernando Garcia, a renowned expert in soil fertility and crop nutrition. He shares valuable insights into ecologically intensified cropping systems and their impact on global agriculture.

Dr. Garcia is a Free Professor at the College of Agricultural Sciences of the National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina, and a consultant for various agricultural organizations. 

Some of the topics covered in this episode are

  • The Four Pillars of Agriculture: no-till farming, crop rotation, cover crops, and balanced nutrition.
  • Dr. Garcia’s perspective on how these pillars contribute to sustainable agriculture.
  • Comparative Agriculture: Argentina vs. North America.  
  • Dr. Garcia outlines key challenges in modern agriculture and discusses innovative approaches and technologies in addressing these challenges with an emphasis on the importance of adapting to climate change and environmental pressures.
  • Exploration of programs and strategies used by Argentinian farmers and how these practices can be examples for farmers globally.
  • The role of government and private sector in supporting these initiatives.

Dr. Garcia begins by discussing the history of agriculture in Argentina, which has traditionally been focused on producing commodity crops like soybeans and corn for export. However, he notes that this model has led to soil degradation, water pollution, and deforestation. He argues that the country needs to shift towards more sustainable and regenerative farming practices that prioritize soil health, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.

He then describes his own journey as a farmer who transitioned from conventional to organic and regenerative practices. He recounts how he first adopted no-till farming, which helped reduce erosion and improve soil health. He also started using cover crops, crop rotation, and integrated pest management techniques. These changes resulted in higher yields, better soil structure, and increased biodiversity on his farm.

Dr. Garcia emphasizes the importance of adopting a holistic approach to farming that considers the interconnectedness of all elements in the agroecosystem. He stresses the need to move beyond just focusing on yield and profitability, and instead consider factors like carbon sequestration, water retention, and wildlife habitat.

He highlights several innovative practices that are being developed and implemented in Argentina, such as precision agriculture, drones, and satellite imagery to monitor crop health and optimize inputs. He also mentions the use of artificial intelligence to predict weather patterns and pest outbreaks, allowing farmers to make data-driven decisions.

Listen to the podcast here

Source: Yara North America
Image: Potato News Today

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