Characterization of Forage Resources, Evaluation and Forecasting Productivity

Call for Proposals
USD 100.000
Counterpart Amount:
USD 85.000
Execution time
36 Months
Total Amount:
USD 185.000
Participating countries:
Argentina Argentina United States United States Uruguay Uruguay
Funding source:
FONTAGRO Amount 54% Other agencies 0% Counterpart Amount 46%

Executive Summary

As the best lands in southern South America turn to agriculture, ranching is limited to less suitable lands in which natural vegetation (grasslands and shrubs) is the main forage resource. This project proposes the development of general knowledge and technologies for a more efficient and sustainable livestock use of the natural vegetation of the three most important livestock regions in southern South America: the grasslands of the Río de la Plata, the Monte and the Patagonian steppe. Livestock farms in these regions are going through a deep ecological and economic crisis that makes the development of new production technologies urgent. It is proposed to base the transformation of these production systems on a set of technologies that seek to characterize, understand, and forecast the primary production (forage supply) of the different ecosystems involved.

The general objective of the project was to characterize forage resources in the grasslands of the Río de la Plata and Patagonia at the regional and farm levels, and to develop forecasting systems of primary productivity that are easily accessible to the producer. The goal was to make spatially explicit information about the status and probability of change of forage resources, as well as the impact that the use of such information has on the economy of livestock companies and the sector, available to producers, technicians, officials and politicians.

The technological solution

Use of information provided by remote sensors with field data and simulation models to calibrate the relationship between the Normalized Green Index (NDVI) and the Primary Net Air Productivity (PPNA) for different forage resources and environments. Prospecting systems were developed (based on the historical behavior of the NDVI and climatic variables for the period 1981-2000) and forecasting for farms in different regions and production systems, implementing management strategies that optimize in economic, social and environmental the use of acquired information.


  • 1 million hectares intervened
  • 10 publications
  • 3 postgraduate and 2 undergraduate theses


210 ranchers

Sustainable Development Goals

Responsible consumption and production Climate action Partnerships for the goals

Main donors

Participating Organizations

  • IFEVA - Argentina
  • Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Argentina
  • Pcia. De Río Negro - Argentina
  • SUL - Uruguay
  • Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) - Argentina
  • UdelaR - Uruguay
  • UEColorado - Estados Unidos
  • Universidad Nacional del Comahue (UNCOMA) - Argentina
  • Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMDP) - Argentina

Graphics and data

Financing by country (in USD)
FONTAGRO Amount Other agencies Counterpart Amount

Geolocated Map


Project leader Argentina

José Paruelo

With the support of
Fondo Coreano de Alianza para el Conocimiento en Tecnología e Innovación (KPK)