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Paraguay – Rice production cycle at Salitre Cue farm (November 2017).

Rice cultivation performed at Salitre Cue is a step-by-step production until harvest and post-production activities took place. From the moment land is being prepared until harvest is taking place 9 months elapse.

Pre-planting stage which take around 4 months, is now almost behind us, expect in one block. We are late there due to the accumulation of bad weather conditions. To illustrate, we register 145 mm of rain for the single day of 7 November with intense lightning and electricity cuts. Activities like pre-sowing fertilization, herbicide application, taipas nivelation as well as sowing are impossible under those conditions.

Meanwhile, the 1st blocks sowed which amount to 850 hectares are in irrigation stage until January (nutrients have been applied). So far, the plants grow and develop normally even if incremental work is currently required given weather conditions to management water in the fields. After this stage, plants are going to enter in the flowering period (high brightness is required for an optimal development of rice grains) before rice grain achieve is maturity, and harvest stage begun.

Argentina – Standard & Poor’s ups country’s rating from B to B+ (November 2017).

S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term sovereign credit ratings of Argentina to ‘B+’ from ‘B’ as “the outlook on the long-term ratings is stable”. This action reflects greater confidence about the government’s political capacity to continue pursuing its economic agenda, resulting in more predictable economic policy and governance. In this context, S&P expects moderate but sustained economic growth in the next 3 years and lower potential volatility.

After its electoral gains, the government is aiming to eliminate distortions and promote investment while reducing tax pressure (Corporate taxes should be lowered from 35% to 25% within 5 years).

However, public-led infrastructure investment will continue to play a decisive role in driving growth. The Government, inter alia, foresees the construction of 7,000 km of roads. The total amount of the combined projects is estimated to $26 Billion and will be invested over 5 years.

Argentina – Election gives president Macri a legislative majority (October 22, 2017).

President Mauricio Macri’s governing coalition (Cambiemos alliance) won decisive victories in the 5 biggest electoral districts across the country in midterm elections of October 22, 2017 that were widely seen as a referendum for the center-right leader’s since he took office in 2015.

 In the closely watched province of Buenos Aires, Esteban Bullrich (ally of Mr Macri) defeated ex-President Kirchner. However, Mrs Kirchner was assured election to the Senate and to enjoy judicial immunity provided by a Senate seat considering all her current legal troubles, even though her party came in second behind Macri’s coalition. Two of the three Senate seats elected in the province of Buenos Aires went to party with the most votes, while the third was reserved for the second-place party.

The result will mean gains for Macri in both houses of Congress, and reinforce his ability to implement chances in the tax and labour laws which are for him necessary to improve the country’s economy. Those results are positioned him as a candidate for re-election in 2019, likely against Mrs Kirchner, and set up a very positive message for foreign investors .

Argentina – Update on Curupi Pora farm activities (October 2017).

Situation/weather: After registering a very wet cycle 2016/2017 (+20% rainfall in comparison with the historical average for the period July-June of 1,440 mm) with peaks and some flooding periods, the weather seems to normalized for now.

Cattle operation: Pastures affected by heavy rainfalls are recovering, we are soon going to sow 125 hectares with natural pastures to increase pasture-fed cattle. During the cycle, additional natural pastures are going to be sowed and also completed with AOT as well as with ray-grass.

Those sowing operations are made in order to enhance herbaceous vegetation to increase ultimately pasture-fed cattle.

Finally, 130 heads of cattle have been transferred to San Bartolo farm in Salta to be at work there, and we operate on 4,700 heads of cattle at Curupi Pora farm.

Water tank: After being delayed due to climate vagaries, the construction of the Australian water tank (400,000 liters of capacity) has re-started.

Paraguay – Irrigation of the 1st plots sowed begun at Salitre Cue farm (October 2017)

We have begun to irrigate the 1st plots sowed in September to allow an optimal development and growth of the seeds.

To that end, water is pumped in from the river Tebicuary by the main station and redistributed to the master channel as you can see on the picture below. Secondary channels  are then supplied with water to each individual plots.

Meanwhile, we continue to sow other fields. As of today, 845 hectares have been sowed with rice.