AgTech tool, innovating grassland management in Latin America
A regional platform has been created between Uruguay, Argentina and Costa Rica to adapt AgTech technology to our conditions. It is expected to increase grass production on family cattle and dairy farms in the region by at least 30%.
Context of the story
Technicians and farmers have detected low levels of fodder harvest on family farms in Latin America and the Caribbean, hence the importance of increasing harvest levels since grass forage resources are the basis of dairy and cattle systems in the region. Although there are many methods for measuring grass stock, there is no easily systematized and adopted method in the region to help technicians make decisions to improve the efficiency of pasture use. In the global context, we understand that improving the self-sufficiency and sustainability of production systems is key to achieving sustainable intensification, providing natural food at low cost, improving profitability and providing greater biodiversity.
Develop and validate easily adoptable technology for conditions in LAC to improve the efficiency of forage resources on family farms.
The implemented initiative
Dairy and meat production in Latin America and the Caribbean is mainly pasture-based, highlighting the importance of efficient production systems in terms of pasture harvesting. The main objective of the regional platform formed by Uruguay, Argentina and Costa Rica is to increase forage harvest levels by at least 30% on family farms. To achieve these objectives, a Decision Support System (DSS) will be developed to simplify and optimize grazing management decisions. There are 200 direct beneficiaries, including technicians and producers, with the expectation of reaching at least 4,000 farmer families.
AgTech solution launched in Latin America
The technological solution
The AgTech solution has very positive impacts on production systems, including improving the profitability of production systems, sustainability and levels of self-sufficiency. Implementing this technology in family livestock and dairy farms in Latin America and the Caribbean is of great interest since these systems require pasture. Pasture production is very sensitive to climatic changes; the world is facing very changing climatic scenarios, therefore an increase in pasture production will improve the productivity and quality of life of family farmers in the region. This in turn translates into increased natural habitats for animals, reduced input use, increased nutrient recycling and increased carbon sequestration of pastures. The DSS tool, available in the cloud and which provides real-time information on the sequence of paddocks to be grazed, the area and what is available for stocking, will be developed with a "user design experience" approach.
"Having the growth rate and stocking data makes it very easy to make the decision to increase concentrates or reduce to a grazing shift and in the spring to be able to close paddocks in a timely manner for quality reserves."
*A regional platform of three countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region was formed to improve self-sufficiency and sustainability on family livestock and dairy farms.
*A pastoral network is formed between the three countries that make up the network, for the continuous exchange of experiences between technicians (facilitators) and researchers.
* A prototype AgTech solution is developed, a web tool that seeks to increase the levels of forage produced (30%) for consumption or production of reserves.
*The validation stage of the web tool has been completed, through user experience. Today the project is in the front-end design stage of the web tool for commercial use.
*Activities are being carried out in Argentina and Costa Rica to calibrate the use of drones for remote biomass estimation.