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versión On-line ISSN 2477-8850


GARCIA, Fernando O.. Agricultura en el Cono Sur ¿Qué se conoce, qué falta por conocer?. Siembra [online]. 2015, vol.2, n.1, pp.103-115. ISSN 2477-8850.

The growing global demand for food has promoted grain production in four countries from the South Cone (Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay). The increment in productivity of the last 20 years has been based mainly in aggressive land incorporation to agriculture, especially with soybeans, and a drastic reduction of the areas under pastures, and, in a minor scale, for yield increments. Yield increments of wheat and corn in the region are interesting; however, they will not be enough to satisfy the demand by 2050 which requires duplication in yields. The South Cone land expansion and grain yield increments have had positive and negative impacts. Among the positive impacts are the increased productivity and the consequent social and economic benefit, industry development, and greater food security. On the other hand, expansion and yield increment have also had economic and social negative impacts such as water and wind erosion, soil salinization, decrements in soil organic matter content, desertification, soil compaction, soil fertility reduction, diffuse soil, water and air pollution, presence of resistant weeds, biodiversity losses, reduction in inputs and resources use efficiency, and land concentration and reduction in job opportunities. Several of these negative impacts have contributed to the yield stagnation in many agro systems of the region. This article discusses aspects related to soil and crop management in the production systems of the region regarding:1) its actual complexity (what is known), and 2) concepts and lines of work which can contribute to a sustainable agriculture (¿what needs be known?).

Palabras clave : grain production; externalities of agriculture; intensive agriculture; Southern Cone; sustainable agriculture.

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