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Economics Drive Argentinian Farmers to Direct Seeding

PULLMAN, Wash. — Economic competitiveness is a driving force behind rapid transition to no-till or direct seeding diversified cropping systems in Argentina, says Roger Veseth, Washington State University/University of Idaho conservation tillage specialist.

More than 14 million acres, or 28 percent, of Argentina’s cropland, was in no-till systems in 1997. Veseth says that’s why Roberto Peiretti, a farmer and consulting agronomist from Cordoba, Argentina, will keynote the 2nd Northwest Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conference and Trade Show Jan. 5-7 in Spokane, Wash.

“Peiretti will explain the economic, agronomic, and environmental benefits of no-till systems in Argentina,” says Veseth.

In 1990, less than 2 percent of Argentina’s cropland was in no-till. That jumped to 28 percent in 1997 and is expected to reach 35 percent this year.

About 5 percent of the Northwest’s cropland was in no-till in 1997.

Peiretti is on the board of directors of the Argentinian Producers Direct Seed Association and Latin American Confederation of Farmers for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, and manages about 12,000 acres of no- till cropland. He has spoken on no-till management strategies and systems at more than 25 no-till conferences across South America and the United States.

The January conference also features 36 other speakers, including researchers and industry representatives and 16 growers from across the Pacific Northwest, Northern Great Plains, Canada, and Brazil.

The Conference is sponsored by the PNW STEEP III program, Monsanto and other agriculture support companies, in cooperation with a number of grower organizations, conservation district associations, and other groups and agencies.

Conference pre-registration is $75 through Dec. 18, and $90 afterwards.

Contact the NW Direct Seed Conference office at 509-547-5538, FAX 547-5563, or e-mail maurer@oneworld.owt.com to receive a conference program and pre-registration brochure, or trade show/sponsorship prospectus.

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