Over the last month, Soil Expeditions have been undertaken in Argentina, Brazil and the islands of Indonesia. Over the last 3 years we have been involved in soil research and field trials in different parts of South America. We have been involved in a range of production systems, from maize, soybeans, sorghum and cereal production.
From planting with high rates of water in maize in South America (to stimulate an early germination with marked yield increases) to rice planting and harvesting all by hand in Indonesia, it has been a busy month. With agricultural development being at different stages in the various countries, how they all manage their system to reach harvestable production is certainly amazing.
In all of our travels for work one thing is apparent across all cultures. Their soils are the primary focus when looking to improve productivity. Even with all the new plant genetics that South America have access to, they are still finding one of their major limiting factors is their soil condition. The penny is starting to drop.
There is still plenty to learn and a plethora of options to start engaging with agricultural management systems to improve soil potential. There are some very good soil scientists in Argentina and Brazil to fill this space.