Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Diversified Farm Tour

JANUARY 6, 2014

La Olivia Farm and Luna Media Polo Club

Today we visited the diversified La Olivia farm owned by the Willans family. This farm consists of 20,784 owned acres and 1,965 rented acres at three different locations within a 30 mile radius. Seventy percent of the land is planted to crops including beans, corn, wheat and sunflowers, and the remaining 30 percent is used for for cattle production. The farm runs about 3100 head of cows. 

Dan with Javier Oyarvide Saenz, CREA Advisor, and Patrick Willans, one of four farm owners at the La Olivia Farm.
Diversified farms are popular for three reasons in Argentina: climate, market price risk, and the political/economic intervention. The taxation and inflation are very high in Argentina, so having diversity helps to offset some of the risk. Another way the La Olivia is helping to offset their risk is by being a part of CREA Ameghino, a group of 13 farm operators that meet each month. In their meetings they analyze production and economical information for the individual farms and offer feedback to each other based on this data. They have found that working together in this way brings better management practices to the operations and makes them more effective producers. Nationwide, 200 of these groups exist. Their information is gathered at a central office in Buenos Aires where others can access it.

Sunflowers are on of the crops grown at La Olivia Farm.
In this area of the country we are seeing much more farm machinery. The La Olivia farms owns its planting, spraying, fertilizing, haying, and cattle feeding equipment. Only the harvest and silage cutting is custom hired. 

We met at the Luna Media Polo Club to learn about the farm before heading on a bus tour to one of the three farm sites in the operation. The polo club is owned by the Willans family and has been in the community for more than 120 years. 

We were entertained by a few Argentina dances, the Gato and Chukarana.
These dances remind me of folk dancing and are taught to students at school.
A few in the SDARL group joined Patrick Willans in a
few holes of golf prior to our meal at the polo club.

In the distance are some of the polo fields at the Luna Media Polo Club.
I leave you with one of the many
stately trees we have been seeing.