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Argentina – Mid-term elections (August 2017).

The campaign for the August primaries is on (PASO) and politics is starting to monopolise the attention. General elections will take place on October 22. Although activity is recovering and inflation is falling, this is happening too slowly and too unevenly across sectors and regions for most voters to notice by August. The economy may have more political impact in the October election. Mid-term elections will renew half the seats in the Lower House of Congress (127), and a third of the seats in the Senate (24).

The main contenders are the Cambiemos alliance (pro Macri coalition) and the two main opposition groups: the Front for Victory (FpV) coalition of former president Cristina Fernández (2007-15), which remains the strongest adversary to Macri in Congress, and the Renewal Front (FR) coalition led by Sergio Massa, perceived as a more moderate and cooperative faction of the Peronist political movement.

The most interesting contest takes place in Buenos Aires province where former president Cristina Kirchner decided to run for a seat in the Senate. The government needs to show it can beat the former president in her (and Peronism’s) stronghold. It may fail to do so in August, but will probably do it in October. Losing against her would raise the spectre for investors that “Kirchnerismo” and its business-unfriendly policies might return in 2019.

On the other hand, Cristina Kirchner must prove she is still relevant within the Peronist party, and worthy of consideration for a run for the presidency in 2019. Another very important fact is that she would enjoy judicial immunity provided by a Senate seat considering all her current legal troubles.

Uruguay – Support provided to Melo’s hospital (La Esperanza farm area – July 2017).

We decided to provide some support to the maternity and pediatric department of Melo’s hospital by buying some equipment that were sorely lacking. We place emphasis on safety and quality for kids as well as providing mothers-to-be with the most comfortable environment. Therefore, we offered to the unit 10 reclining armchairs, breast pumps, metallic wardrobe and bilirubin measure equipments.

Below you will find some pictures taken at the event organized by MADER association at the hospital when the equipments have been supplied.

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This action has been taken via a local non-profit organization called MADER with the support of Maria, Mr Alfredo Nunez wife (Campos Purchase manager & La Esperanza Manager). We deeply thank Maria for her involvement.

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Argentina – Update on San Bartolo farm activities (July 2017).

Situation/weather: the farm is in very good condition and we have registered more rain then usually which is very good for the pasture we have replanted to enhance ultimately beef production as the unit is dedicated to fattening. Excluding rainfall distribution, our biggest challenge at the farm is the permanent control of the natural vegetation which is typical for the region of Salta (formerly a forest area with a subtropical highland climate).

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You can see below a lot where no chemicals or machinery/manual clearing have been recently applied versus a controlled one.

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As previously indicated, we are working in small-sized lots and increase on a ramp up basis the lots replanted with pasture and used for cattle fattening.

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Cattle operation: we have currently over 3,500 heads of cattle at the farm, all in very good shape as you can see.

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Weaning of baby calves will be done before year end closing, so that the beef production will be enhanced.

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Our new farm manger, Juan who joined us after the previous manger of the farm has been promoted to Curupi Pora farm, has a strong experience in managing similar cattle units in Salta region.

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Pro-actively, Juan and his team have repainted all outside of the facilities and re-commissioned old used equipments.

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Argentina – Devaluation of peso halted on July 6, 2017 after record highs against the US dollar with an FX of 17,5 (July 2017).

The largest devaluation since President Mauricio Macri‘s administration lifted capital controls  in 2015 came to a halt on July 6, 2017 after the intervention of state-supported and major private banks. For nine consecutive days the peso had climbed against the dollar, starting with an exchange rate of 16.11 pesos to the US dollar on June 26 to a pick of 17.50 pesos, until finally falling back to 17, 27 before the close of markets.

“Article from the Buenos Aires Herald dated 07/07/17”

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

Situation/weather: as previously indicated, the farm has been affected by the recent heavy rains which caused flooding situation and damages in the province of Corrientes. Local authorities are putting in place a plan to help farmers affected by the floods and storms.

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Cattle operation: the farm is now recovering and pretty well for our cattle herd (4,900 heads currently) thanks to the emergency measures taken by the COO of Campos, Mr Gustavo Listello and implemented very efficiently at the farm level by the entire team (management of pastures, land drainage, transfer of the baby calves to Salta in San Bartolo farm which limited the increase in death of this more sensitive category, etc).

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Silage & pasture-fed cattle: Grass-fed beef not only is lower in overall fat and in saturated fat, but it has the added advantage of providing more omega-3 fats (about twice as many omega-3s as a grain-fed one). In addition, meat from pastured cattle is also up to four times higher in vitamin E than meat from pure feedlot cattle. The meat is also more mature and has a more pronounced taste than the one coming from intensive feedlots you can find for example in the US and only grain-fed. A combination of both may be optimal to produce beef.

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Here also the ray grass sowed in March has been delayed in development due to the excess rain and floods registered earlier this year.

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Corn silage : 229 ha have been sowed and harvest hasn’t start yet due the heavy rainfalls registered. Yield are also expected to be lower then forecasted (4,75 tons/ha planned). Rain by penetrating in the corn cobs while the plant was developing, damaged the grain as you can see on the pictures.

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Water tank: the construction of the Australian water tank (400,000 liters of capacity) was delayed due to the climate vagaries registered. We will continue construction once the soil will be completely drained. Given all accumulated water and the season, the termination of this new water facility is not currently a priority.

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