INTA – Researching Precision Farming in Argentina
Over the years, Ag Leader has worked with various universities and research organizations on precision farming projects. These have ranged from the development of new technology, such as cotton harvesting, to studying the benefits of products such as autosteer and variable rate application. One of the research organizations that Ag Leader has worked with is the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA), an Argentinean government research organization dedicated to helping farmers in Argentina improve their operation and be competitive on an international level. Research and testing is one of INTA’s main priorities.
INTA tests new technologies and tries to adapt them to the unique needs of Argentinean farmers and educate the farmers on the benefits of these technologies. One area that INTA has spent significant time on is precision farming. The group has tested and analyzed technologies such as yield monitoring, variable rate application, autoswath, autosteer and, most recently, crop sensors. In fact, INTA will soon start a second round of field trials using crop sensors when applying nitrogen and we will be looking forward to their results. In addition to research, INTA also focuses on education. Ag Leader was introduced to INTA through our Argentinean distributor D&E. D&E and INTA have worked together to educate Argentinean farmers on the benefits of precision farming. Part of this education is INTA’s annual trip to the US with a group of 50-60 Argentinian farmers.
This trip allows the farmers to talk with various agricultural companies and see the latest products at the Farm Progress Show. Andres Mendez, the National Coordinator of the Precision Farming Machinery Project at INTA, says the technologies that Argentinian farmers have adopted the most are planter monitors, yield monitors, guidance, steering and variable rate application. Moving forward, he believes Argentinean farmers will look to bio-mass and crop sensors along with row-by-row planter control for the greatest improvements in their operations. “As Argentinean farmers increase their knowledge of their crops, this will lead to a more efficient use of inputs and machinery,” Andres stated. This, as we know, is the common goal of farmers around the world. It is always rewarding to work with organizations such as INTA that promote the benefits of precision farming to growers.
INTA has been performing research and providing education to farmers on precision farming for fourteen years, and I hope they continue to do so for many more years to come. I look forward to working with them in the future and meeting their group at the next Farm Progress Show. You can learn more about the INTA group by visiting their website at: www.inta.gov.ar (The website is in Spanish but you can use Microsoft Translator to translate the pages: http://www.microsofttranslator.com/Default.aspx . Just copy the URL into the first box, select “Spanish to English” and the web page will be translated.)