French genetics appreciated in Argentina

Despite national policies to discourage the import of foreign products, the Argentine breeders are becoming more and more technical and intensify their production. Today we are travelling to Rafaela, in the heart of one of the main dairy production areas of Argentina, together with our guide, Mariano Morra, responsible for sales at CGL (Centro Genético del Litoral).

Policy of price control

Mariano MORRA - as sales representative for CGL he is responsible for the central areaArgentina has a great potential for milk production with its traditional dairy areas, such as the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fé and Cordoba, having particularly favorable soil and weather conditions. The country can also count on processing firms with considerable industrial capacity. However, large numbers of milk producers are tempted to give up their dairy operations and turn to large-scale cultivation, taking into account the Here in Argentina there is a fierce competition between cultivation (especially soya) and dairy cowscurrent international situation and the insecurities about the future of the dairy production. In fact, since 2005 the government has pursued a policy to control the prices of export products; this in order to disconnect the internal prices from the situation in the rest of the world. The authorities give priority to the supply of the domestic market. They will not authorize the opening of the milk export registers until after the internal market has been satisfied.

Breeders have a large capacity to adapt

Simple infrastructure: a milking parlor and a dairy processing unitThe competition between milk and soya where the soil is concerned, makes that Argentine breeders are more and more inclined to make a comparison between the profitability of their dairy operation and that of soya.

Traditionally, the cows are outside here 365 days a year, which makes the production economical but subject to the uncertainties of the climatic conditions (not enough grass in the summer, inundations in 2007…). The cost of production is at around 0.15 Euro/liter in the Rafaela area.

The infrastructure is simple but effective. The feeding of alfalfa is common practice, however, In Argentina the breeders do the inseminations themselvesastoundingly enough, soya hardly ever forms part of the feed of the cows. With breeders wanting to intensify production and stock forage, large stable units start to appear in the landscape and CUMA (cooperatives for the shared use of agricultural material) are being formed, a new development in a country where the production process has always been very individualistic. New developments also go in the direction of the research for better genetics.

To smooth out the milk price fluctuations and increase their income, a number of breeders have even decided to transform their milk into cheese to make them less dependent on the market.

French genetics to create solid producers

Luis Gisbert explains the crosses he makes« I am trying to icrease the milk production and fertility of my cows » explains Sergio Andres Priotti. This only 25-year-old farmer has established an operation together with his father and his two brothers, after a 3-year veterinary study. Together, on 750 ha, they manage a herd of 1000 dairy cows. The rest of the arable land (3000 ha) is used for commercial crops. That Sergio is motivated by the production of milk, becomes clear very soon. « 80% of Typical landscape with the dairy cows laying down in the alfalfathe ration consists of the cows grazing alfalfa, and the cows have to walk a lot. The basis of our herd consists of national genetics, which are called “Holando Argentino”, and we have to correct them for problems with the legs. Today we are selecting French bulls and in particular pay attention to that requirement ». Over the last 18 months, this breeder has used 100% bulls of Gènes Diffusion. « Among the bulls that we use, SURFEIT and ARTOIS do offer a good compromise between milk, quality of the legs and fertility ».

Indisputable cheese qualities

A daughter of SPORT, a bull that is appreciated for the dairyness and solid feet & legs he transmits These heifers from French genetics look promisingLuis Gisbert not only is a veterinary, he is also selling veterinary products and semen, and he manages the family farm. He takes pride in showing us his cheese dairy « La Rivera ». Twice a day, the 5000 liters of milk that are daily produced by the 200 milking cows of the operation are being transformed here. « Contents is what interests me most. I used to work with genetics from New Zealand, however the udders are not up to the production level of my cows. I have chosen for French genetics because they combine great cheese qualities with outstanding udder attachments. ROUMARE is my favorite, but also bulls such as SPORT and TASMAN, – very good udder transmitters as well – form part of the bulls that I am using ».



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Centro Genético del Litoral

The Centro Genético del Litoral, managed by Manuel GARCIA SOLÁ, is the exclusive importer of Gènes Diffusion genetics in Argentina. This company, that is well-known for its beef genetics, has only started selling dairy semen at the end of 2005, and already now is the leader in Argentina with respect to the sales of European genetics.

François DESMONS and Manuel GARCIA SOLÁ in front of the entrance of CGL


Thanks to the quality of the genetics from Gènes Diffusion, the potential for growth is enormous, especially when you know that only 50% of the Argentine dairy farms are using artificial insemination.

In a country that has 2 million milking cows that are for 98% Holstein, that does not have a structural selection program and has imported 1.7 million doses of dairy semen in 2008 (with 75% of the doses sold), genomics are absolutely going to play an important role.

Genes Diffusion is partner of “Milk around the World”, project leaded by Arnaud BARANGER and Martine BROUWER, which consists in a bicycle trip to discover the milk production around the world.

  Click here to follow the trip

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