More than 60 specialists will address more than 40 topics related to wheat and winter crops during this Thursday and Friday at the Sheraton Hotel in Mar del Plata.  (Photo: A Todo Trigo).

The wheat complex contributes 3.5 billion dollars per year, an 4.5% of the country’s total exports, indicated Daniel Miles, Fauba professor and main researcher at Conicet in the panel “The potential of Argentine wheat and its insertion in the world”, organized by the congress To All Wheat.

Bearing in mind that each new campaign is a challenge, the specialist warned that if the area devoted to cultivation decreases, as a result of different variables such as international prices, the cost of inputs and climate change, there could be supply problems.

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For its part, Fernando Vilalla, director of the Fauba Bioeconomy Program and full professor of the Agribusiness Chair at the university, took a tour of the different transformations that were generated in the current global context, mainly linked to demographic growth and, consequently, to the increase in the sector consumer.

“There is an issue that must be kept in mind and that is where the population is going to grow. It is estimated that Africa will have a population similar to Asia by the end of this century. With the population growthl, fewer and fewer countries have food surpluses. By 2030 there will be 900 million people in Asia alone who will not be able to supply themselves with their own food and who will require third parties to do so,” said the agronomist.

More than 60 specialists will address more than 40 topics related to wheat and winter crops during this Thursday and Friday at the Sheraton Hotel in Mar del Plata. (Photo: A Todo Trigo).

In this sense, the specialist considered that Argentina, due to its geographical conditions and resources, could eventually position itself as a food supplier for those countries facing a food crisis.

“In this panorama there is an opportunity on an international scale, but we must also rethink our responsibility in the generation of photosynthesis and high-value production,” concluded Vilella.

Innovation and technology, keys to increasing performance in the country

For its part, Emilio Satorre, specialist from Fauba and Aacrea, explained that of the 14,683 million tons produced in the five-year period 1999-2003, Argentina reached 19,508 million between 2017 and 2021.

This phenomenon fully impacted the technological development of the sector. “The most important changes came from the hand of processes and technologies. The ones that have grown the most are those that contribute to a more efficient management of resources and a more effective productive attitude”, considered the specialist.

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An example of this mutation occurred in the application of phytosanitary products, compounds that considerably lowered their toxicity.

“The efficiency with which we are using these types of technologies brings current lethal dose levels down to just 0.53 doses per kilo of food. We are producing food almost 100 times healthier, or with less environmental effect than what we did just 35 years ago”, Satorre pointed out.

Even so, a large part of the production results depend on the weather, so the speaker highlighted the importance of caring for the environment, knowing its heterogeneity and using technologies effectively.

Pablo Abbate, from INTA, presented a new map of wheat areas in Argentina.  (Photo: A Todo Trigo).
Pablo Abbate, from INTA, presented a new map of wheat areas in Argentina. (Photo: A Todo Trigo).

By last, Paul Abbate, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, introduced the new wild map Argentina and stressed that it is necessary to update it because for 70 years a scheme from 1938 was used, which did not contemplate new wheat-producing “subzones”.

This led to a new study that includes the Pampean, NOA, NEA, Serrana Cuyana, and Patagonian subregions, which were classified into two categories: “permanent production subregions” and “occasional production subregions.” “The main use of this new map is as a reference for register cultivars the professional summed up.

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