Innovation for pasture management
Levels of harvested forage in the production systems of Latin America and the Caribbean are very low relative to their potential. In tropical areas, such as Costa Rica, the production of dry matter (DM) of the main forage species ranges between 10 and 25 t DM / ha / year, but on average the animals consume less than 45 % of the available pasture. In temperate zones, such as Uruguay, forage production on average is 4.5 t DM / ha / year, when the potential is at least 10 t DM / ha / year. In Argentina it is estimated that between 2 and 4 t DM / ha / year are harvested, while the potential is up to 15 t DM / ha / year. Improving the production and consumption of grass on farms requires easily implemented grazing management technologies that allow optimizing grass use in terms of quantity and quality throughout the year. The objective of this project is to improve the self-sufficiency and sustainability of livestock production by increasing the grass harvest of family farms in Uruguay, Argentina and Costa Rica by at least 30 % through the use of drones and decision support platforms.
The technological solution
Implement a user-friendly resident cloud service, accessible via web browser or an app for computers and smartphones, that collects information from each farm (users), processes it, develops management indicators, and visualizes grazing decisions. The proposed solution aims to: a) simplify and optimize real time decision-making of the sequence of paddocks to be grazed, necessary subdivisions, required grazing time, area to be harvested mechanically and the optimal dates for each activity; and b) automate biomass measurement by using easily adopted remote measurement devices.
- Generate a virtual innovation platform to connect researchers, advisors and producers of participant countries (Uruguay, Argentina and Costa Rica), to exchange methodologies and information among leaders in the field of pasture management.
- Generate a a Decision Support System (DSS) web tool (AgTech solution) for grazing and stocking, resident in the cloud, allowing real-time decisions to be made on the sequence of paddocks, area to be grazed or for stocking. On-farm validation of the Agtech solution, after 12 months of using the tool, is expected to result in a 30% increase in pasture harvest to improve the self-sufficiency and sustainability of pastoral livestock and dairy production on family farms in Uruguay, Argentina and Costa Rica.
- Develop a device for remote measurement of available pasture biomass that can be easily adopted by producers, for which a consensus protocol will be developed to quantify the available biomass on a weekly basis using drones.
- Direct beneficiaries: 200 producers and technicians in Uruguay, Argentina and Costa Rica.
- Indirect beneficiaries: 4,000 farmers will have access to new technologies developed through knowledge transfer and dissemination.
Sustainable Development Goals
- Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA) - Uruguay
- Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Argentina
- Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Costa Rica
- Fundación para el Fomento y Promoción de la Investigación y Transferencia de Tecnología Agropecuaria (FITTACORI) - Costa Rica
- Fundación ArgenINTA (ARGENINTA) - Argentina
- GENTOS (GENTOS) - Argentina
- Asociación Argentina de Consorcios Regionales de Experimentación Agrícola (AACREA) - Argentina
- Michigan State University (MSU) - Estados Unidos
- Federación Uruguaya de Grupos CREA (FUCREA) - Uruguay
- Cámara Nacional de Productores de Leche (CNPL-CR) - Costa Rica