Farmers Guradian
Topics
Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

DataHub

DataHub

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Auction Finder

Auction Finder

British Farming Awards

British Farming Awards

CropTec

CropTec

LAMMA 2019

LAMMA 2019

You are viewing your 1 free article

Register now to receive 2 free articles every 7 days or subscribe for unlimited access.

Subscribe | Register

OPINION: It's time to take Argentinian beef farmers seriously

Argentina may be easily written off as some far-away, beef-obsessed country of little consequence to Britain, but things are changing and it is a country that can no longer be ignored.

Having been governed by an anti-farming, socialist party for 12 years, Argentina largely shrank from the world stage as the Government made it unprofitable to trade internationally.

 

However, a new, centre-right Government has changed the lie of the land and beef farmers are activelyinvesting, driving performance and, importantly, showing increasg interest in the EU export market.

 

In 2017, the country exported 40,446 tonnes of beef to the EU – up 16 per cent to the year before.

That should start ringing alarm bells for British farmers who are on edge because of uncertainties over Brexit.

 

Add to that the fact the EU is currently in negotiations with the Mercosur block (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) to increase the amount of reduced tariff beef coming into Europe, and the story becomes more significant.

If the UK has to pay tariffs to export beef after leaving Europe, they will be in direct competition with cheap South American imports.

 

The UK Government will also likely forge its own agreement with Mercosur, which could see more South American beef on the domestic market.

 

It would also be naive to think Argentinian farmers are not prepared. Growing confidence in the Government means they are investing in technologies to drive production.

 

I met a commercial beef finisher using satellite mapping to determine grass covers, budget feed and plan rotations, something that as far as I am aware is only in the trial stages in the UK. Another farmer was using soil and yield mapping to decide where to plant specific crops in specific parts of the same field to get the best response.

 

Again, precision farming is an area embraced by a relatively small number of UK livestock farmers – most of which are likely to be dairy, not beef.

 

The Argentine Government is also backing technological development across all aspects of agriculture. This includes research centres and 54 experimental farms.

 

The export market is also being taken seriously with the industry looking to overhaul meat classification guidelines to better meet global demands.

 

All of these factors combine to mean Argentinian beef is of increasing significance to UK farmers.

The fact a lot of British beef farmers are behind in terms of embracing technology, should also make us sit up and think.

 

Failure to adopt new ideas and technologies could make it difficult to compete if more of Argentinian meat does end up on British supermarket shelves.

 

  • Aly Balsom travelled to Argentina as part of a Perkins Global Innovation Scholarship, a British Guild of Agricultural Journalists award. Read more on Aly’s blog at www.alybalsom.com/blog
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS