Today we headed northwest out of Buenos Aires to the Area of Pergamino... and it wasn’t long before the land opened up into soybean, corn, cattle and horses. It’s safe to say this was a welcome sight for all of us!
Our first stop was at a machinery shed in Cabana El Desafio. This mid-sized farm consists of 1000 ha of soybean, corn, wheat and specialty green peas and included a 480 head cattle operation. The operation also works approximately 3500 additional acres as custom work. Much of the machinery was a smaller than we anticipated but the area provides a long window of opportunity for both planting and harvesting.
We got back on the bus for a short ride and next visited the home of Alejandro and Maria Calderon, owners of Cabana El Desafio. Alejandro answered several of our questions while we enjoyed drinks and Empanadas as the two inch steaks cooked on the open outdoor wood grill. Our hosts graciously opened up their home to us to enjoy the steaks and fixings. As we have become accustomed to on this trip, a wonderful lunch was topped with a perfect dessert - a homemade flan.
On full stomachs, Alejandro accepted several additional questions prior to taking us on a tour of the home 280 hectares. It was interesting to learn that he is facing some of the same challenges we Ontario farmers faces: high land costs, increased expenses, lower commodity prices and finding good employees. The biggest difference between Argentina and home seems to be the ability to market crops, as the government in Argentina receives the first third of all sales and controls all exports.
This evening we retired to our hotel and enjoyed an evening by the pool before falling asleep with the meat sweats!