The two farms owned by the company –one located at Corazzi, Trenque Lauquen County, and the other one at General Belgrano/ Las Flores (both located in Buenos Aires Province)– add up to 4,500 hectares (11,120 acres) and some 3,000 cattle heads, with a record yearly output of one million kilos.
“The farm in General Belgrano is on a mixed-soil land, typical of the Salado Basin and apt for cattle raising, while the farm in Trenque Lauquen can be used for agriculture, cattle wintering, fattening, breeding and finishing operations, as Western farms provide good alfalfa,” noted Luis Schirado, the company’s owner. In addition to cattle operations, both farms feature a share of planting lands that have been used for precision farming practices.
The company also owns a feedlot, used not only to fatten its own cattle but also to provide hosting, feeding and sanitary services to other farmers. “Our feedlot has a capacity for 3,300 heads, with a turnover of up to three times, which means that we can complete the fattening cycle of up to 10,000 animals a year,” remarked Schirado.
Despite the company’s exporting track record (it held a Hilton quota share for three years), as a result of Argentina’s political and economic scenario in recent years, its entire cattle production currently goes to the domestic market, but the company’s vision focuses on taking Argentine beef to foreign markets in the near future. To this end, it has been deploying a traceability system based on the application of intraruminal boluses to follow up and record output and results.
At the farm in Corazzi, a town named after the train station that celebrated the first Argentine Railway train driver, the firm also carries out agriculture operations. “Starting in 2001, we have engaged in no-till farming, and five years ago we started removing the wire fences used to divide the farm into traditional plots in order to shift to a soil aptitude plotting scheme,” explained Schirado. Thus, six cattle areas and four farming areas were established with a view to initiating precision agriculture practices –“which basically involve incorporating smart systems into seeders and pesticide sprayers to plant and fertilize according to plot quality; harvesters are also equipped with a monitoring system that analyzes the area harvested, mapping plots and yields in low, medium and high areas, so that environmental decisions can be made. As a result, soils are better leveraged, with significant cost savings of up to US$ 40 to US$ 50 per hectare,” Schirado elaborated. The firm grows barley, corn, soy, sunflower, and wheat, and it has also deployed a three-circle sprinkler system, with two pumps and a pivot, that moves across these circles, enhancing water and fertilizer utilization, which also translates into higher yields.
purebred cattle raising ranch
In 2006 and 2007, Schirado decided to build an Aberdeen Angus-dedicated raising ranch to breed bulls and heifers for reproduction. “We started the breeding ranch with the help of Engineer Jorge Marull, a late renowned genetics experts. We are currently raising some 100 purebred, controlled bulls and some 200 purebred, controlled heifers. We take part in exhibits organized by the Aberdeen Angus Association in Las Flores, Bolívar. Our ranch is a leading superior red meat producer: a bull is three and a half to four times as much as a bullock,” Schirado said. This farm has focused on cattle raising for the past three years, increasing its receptive capacity as a result. “People nearby invest in heifer reproduction, and, then, they take the heifers to auctions. Thus, bulls and pregnant heifers reach other cattle raisers, so that they can enhance their herds.” The raising ranch’s output is primarily sold to other farmers or at auctions, while the rest of the cattle production goes to meat packers.
CHOOSING AUSTRAL PARK
While the company’s farms are located in Buenos Aires Province, its owner and some of his closest associates live in Pilar, and, so, they chose this location to manage their business, enhancing their living conditions and seizing opportunities to come into contact with potential strategic partners for their projects. “We plan to approach some of Universidad Austral’s schools to expand the developments we have been working on, not specifically for our farms, but to support the future of Argentine agribusiness products around the world. This Park has proven attractive to us on account of its overall value added potential: working alongside companies looking at the technological future in a refreshing way, building ties with University schools, and finding opportunities to offer trainee programs and to capture talents. Partnering with others is a way to grow,” Estancia San Carlos de Corazzi’s chairman summed up.