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Grain Harvest Efficiency in Argentina: The machinery market in Argentina and harvest efficiency

In the past 16 years, Argentina has developed its production from 37 to 84 million tons of grains; Soybeans in particular represent 54% of the area planted, growing in 9 years from 12.6 million tons to 42 million in crop year 2004/2005.

Between the years 1996-97-98, an average of 1,577 harvesters were sold per year, while between 1999 and 2002, the average was 651 harvesters per year. This mismatch between supply of machinery and the increase in demand for greater production caused a serious problem of loss of harvest efficiency, which, towards the end of 2002 led to a consciousness-raising campaign on the subject from INTA, which had its fruits in the level of equipment and in the emergence of the national PRECOP project towards the end of 2004.

The lack of equipment hinders harvesting services being provided properly and on time, and causes problems of inefficiency in collecting that represent 754 million dollars of losses in the eight main crops in Argentina. With the ideal level of replacement of harvesting equipment that would solve supply problems in this area, losses could be reduced by 20%, recovering 150 million dollars per year for Argentina, just in harvesting the eight main grains in the country (Table 1).


As well as the losses before and during harvest, in the post-harvest - storage, drying and freight - Argentina loses another 700 million dollars. As no post-harvest system can improve the quality of the grain - in the best of cases it can maintain it - it is fundamental to begin the end quality process well, from the moment the grain (food) is stored in the plant before its mechanical collection. The end quality is conditioned from the planting of the crop up to its destination as a food. 

The guidelines behind official policy decisions, as well as the private agrifood sector with its heavy investments (more than 800 million dollars for the next few years), seem to indicate that every effort is being made to have a country with strong orientation towards the production of agrifoods with high value added, that plays an ever more important role in world trade in this area. 

For Argentina to situate itself definitively in the place it deserves for its potential as a food-producing country, it is necessary, among other questions, to identify the problems that today limit the desirable development of harvest and post-harvest efficiency and in grain quality. The market of harvesting machinery, and the causes and consequences of its fluctuations are basic points in the chain towards efficiency in grain production in the country.



Mario Bragachini (Coordinator INTA PRECOP) . 
José Peiretti (Technician INTA PRECOP)
Design and Diagrams: 
Daniel Damen (Communications, INTA PRECOP)

Executive unit: INTA EEA Manfredi. Ruta 9, km 636 (5988). Manfredi, Córdoba, Argentina. 
Tel./Fax: (03572) 493039 

Consultas a Profesionales del PRECOP


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INTA EEA Manfredi. Ruta Nac. 9, km. 636. (5988) Manfredi, Córdoba. TE: (03572) 493039 / 493053 / 493058 int. 133
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