AGROPASTORIL SYSTEM: A HEALTHY CONJUGATION OF PRODUCTION AREAS
That means stable production of high yields of soybeans and meat based on the constant improvement of its soil, its profitability and a successful generational succession of the family business. Ildefonso Horita, Agricultural Technological Center in Paraguay (CETAPAR)
AND The integrated agricultural production system allows diversification of production, helping to lower fixed costs on the farm and, with greater financial stability, facilitates the creation of greater wealth. Also, forest inclusion improves the sustainability of the system.
These last 3 years, represent for local agriculture one of the most difficult moments in its history. The lack of rain in the seasons with the most needs of the plants, has significantly affected the yield of the crop and consequently its profitability.
CETAPAR carried out a technology validation work consisting of the integration of agricultural and livestock production. It is about the incorporation of agriculture in the pasture and this in the agricultural plot, for a variable period of 3 to 4 years.
Livestock is usually considered an unprofitable economic activity. This is because, in the case of beef cattle, the national average of weight gain even in cultivated pastures is very low, estimating an average lower than 300 kg / ha. However, we have checked with the steers brought from different regions of the country, including the Chaco, a high weight gain and yield of meat of very good quality.
It was the result of the appropriate combination of animal genetics, feed and handling offered to steers. But, it is mainly due to the large volume of grass produced thanks to the residual effect of the fertilizer applied to the crops that preceded the pasture.
Figure 1 shows the results of 3 years of trial (2005 to 2007) of the use of a pasture established in succession to agriculture, where the steers in pasture presented a weight gain higher than 1,750 kg / ha in a grazing period that goes from 387 days during the first year, 338 days in the second and 393 days in the third year.
Although there are differences in weight gain between the animal biotype, a high weight gain is highlighted during the first year of pasture implantation, which later decreased in the second and third year of grazing.
These results confirm the great potential of the pasture established in succession with agriculture.
The question is to convert, with the minimum loss, all the forage produced in meat. The grass cultivated in an agricultural land, allowed to start its animal exploitation before 60 days of sowing and showed during the 3 years an extraordinary productive development that later was declining and with it the animal performance.
This level of production confirmed, indicates the contrary to popular belief. The current situation of the cattle ranch in frank expansion, means new opportunities to strengthen our agricultural economy.
Production of agriculture
Frequently, animal trampling is considered detrimental to agricultural production. However, in Figure 2 the productive advantage of soy grown in the pastoral agro system can be observed, with a marked difference in years with adverse climatic effects. The advantages were found in the yield difference of the soybean cultivated on the pasture of 850 kg / ha, 1,650 kg / ha and 884 kg / ha higher than those obtained within the soybean - wheat succession of the first, second and third year respectively . These differences in yield are mainly due to the appropriate management of the pasture that favored a higher content of organic matter and better conditions of the physical properties of its soil. Thus, the presence of grass rootlets has benefited the aggregation and its stability. However, this difference in yield decreased with the years, mainly from the fourth year of continuous agriculture, due to the deterioration of the physical properties of the soil even with high soybean yields. When quantified in US $ / ha, (estimated at 320 US $ / t), during the first 3 years we found a difference of 272, 528 and 283 US $ per hectare favorable to agricultural integration.
Therefore, the challenge for the producer is the maintenance of soil productivity over time through the proper management of integrated agricultural and livestock products. We speak in this case, of the integration within a production syste