Categoría: Cosecha -
How to act during the grain harvest in the context of the Coronavirus
Versión en Español)
In light of the current
COVID-19 pandemic and in the framework of the international
agreements signed by INTA the following recommendations have been
developed by the technicians of INTA together with experts from
universities and the private sector to avoid the transmission of the
Coronavirus in the harvesting and storage of grain for this season.
The harvest campaign in the Argentine Pampas
region against the background of the new Coronavirus COVID-19 will
have some peculiarities that deserve to be adequately resolved. The
recommendations of the national health authorities, added to the
limitations of circulation, transport and delivery of the grains,
are some of the characteristics that will condition the harvest,
storage and logistics work of the harvesting season for coarse
Taking into account that 80% of the production
of the 2019-2020 campaign will be harvested in the next 45 days and
that the logistics of harvesting, transport and storage of grains
will be highly conditioned by situations of public knowledge, the
key will be anticipation and foresight.
According to the specialists who work in INTA's
Precision Agriculture and Agricultural Mechanization Project, this
year "it will be key to agree on logistics in advance and
ensure that the teams and equipment are in the field at the
necessary time." "In the event of movement restrictions
and machinery movement, having the harvesting, post-harvesting and
grain logistics services in the field at the necessary time will be
decisive for doing a good job," stressed the technicians.
In a complex situation such as this season, the
harvest should be carried out as efficiently as possible and, in
order not to risk forming a bottleneck to gather and store the
production, we should evaluate the recommendation to start the
harvest with 2% more humidity above the normal reception parameter
(in soybeans, harvest up to 15.5 to 16% humidity). "In a day of
normal weather conditions, that percentage is reduced during the
work day," according to the specialists.
The harvesting campaign in the context of the
In addition to the basic precautions recommended
by the Ministry of Health of the Nation and the WHO for the
prevention of the new Coronavirus COVID-19, which are: washing hands
with soap and water regularly, avoiding direct contact and staying
at a greater distance than 2m, coughing or sneezing into the elbow
crease, ventilation of rooms, not sharing of dishes or utensils for
personal use, and not touching your eyes, nose and mouth, among
others; A team of INTA technicians, together with other specialists
from the private sector, developed a series of recommendations to
take into account in the harvesting, storage and logistics tasks of
grains for this season.
Keep the work team well informed. It is
important to educate all operators and field personnel about the
risks of contagion to take precautions and avoid transmission of
the Coronavirus. Distribute only official information to avoid
rumours and false information that may cause panic. The most
important thing is the people, their health and their families,
therefore, it is essential to attend and invest in their care.
Restrict access to people at risk (people
over 60, people with basic and respiratory diseases and those
with conditions such as diabetes).
Before starting the harvest and post-harvest
activities, agree on the work methodology with the internal and
external team (farmer, agronomist, contractor, operators,
truckers, gatherers, etc.); and if possible, maintain
communication by cell phone to avoid direct contact.
Avoid direct contact in all its forms and,
if necessary, take preventive measures before and after contact.
Avoid sharing mate, it is advisable to use your own elements, as
well as personal crockery (cutlery and glass) and personal
hygiene items (towels and others).
Reduce mobilization of people to a minimum
and request providers that the services are provided by the same
people (truckers, drivers, assistants).
Try to carry out the least possible
mobilization of grain at this time. It is suggested to plan the
storage in own structures available on the farms or to program
the storage in silo bags (obtaining bags and equipment for grain
Avoid crowds of people, both in work
activities and in camps, caravans, meetings, etc.
Thoroughly clean and disinfect items that
are necessarily shared with direct contact (waybill, keys,
tools, pen, performance monitor memory, etc.).
Provide clean water, soap and blotting paper
rolls in the field machinery, such as in hoppers, harvesters,
tractors and especially in communal areas, so that staff can
regularly wash their hands properly (see recommendations of the
Ministry of Health of the Nation).
Communal areas: as it is a critical place
for contagion through confined spaces, it is recommended to take
turns for meals and to require masks (type N95), also during
breaks. It is extremely important to maintain hygiene with
disinfectants and bleach in these living spaces.
Combine harvesters, tractors and trucks must
be occupied only by the trained operator, avoiding companions
and non-essential persons.
Before a change in the operators of the
machinery, properly clean and disinfect the command cabin and
In the case of shared use of technical
assistance vehicles, such as vans, disinfect regularly. The
recommended option to avoid contagions is to avoid sharing.
Regularly clean, disinfect, and ventilate
machinery spaces, communal areas, warehouses, homes, and
technical assistance vehicles.
Reinforce the use of safety and personal
hygiene elements such as gloves and masks (type N95) for
machinery operators and storage plant workers. In addition to
preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, contact with dust,
fungi, mycotoxins, insecticides, insects and rodents is also
Appoint a team operator as responsible for
the control and compliance with prevention measures and the
provision of hygiene products for personnel and machinery
In the presence of fever and respiratory symptoms (cough, sore
throat, or respiratory distress), do not self-medicate or
underestimate any clinical manifestations; Consult by phone
immediately at 0800-222-1002 (from anywhere in the country).
Mauro Bianco Gaido
(INTA Manfredi Communication - Córdoba Regional Center).
* Compilation of technical contributions from specialists from INTA,
universities and the private sector, participants in the Project (PE
i 177) "Development and application of mechanization, precision
and digitization technologies for agriculture": Fernando
Scaramuzza, Juan Pablo Vélez, Diego Villarroel and Mauricio Santa
Juliana (INTA Manfredi), José Peiretti and Mario De Simone (INTA
Salta), Juan Giordano (INTA Rafaela), Santiago Tourn (Integrated
Unit Balcarce - FCA-UNMdP-INTA), Enrique Behr (INTA Crespo), José
Méndez ( INTA Totoras) and Federico Sánchez (Córdoba).
For more information:
Mauro Bianco Gaido
Geographic location: Argentina