Invest in agriculture and soya under irrigation in Uruguay
  MonteClaro is pioneering and leading irrigation of soya crops in northern Uruguay, in a close relationship with the National Agriculture Research Institute of Uruguay (INIA).

For more information about investment opportunities in crops, please e-mail indicating a contact telephone number to: info@grupomonteclaro.com



The convenience of irrigation in Uruguay  

Since the year 2,000 agriculture expanded brutally in Uruguay.

Since then, Uruguay has overcome difficulties in the field of human capital, taking advantage of Argentine know-how especially, and in the logistics and marketing links of the commercial chain, with the presence of international suppliers and exporters. Many cattle lands were converted into agriculture with yields generally growing.

However, important production and climate risks still affect the stability of the crop cycle, especially with regard to summer crops where the risk of moderate or severe drought persists. This is especially relevant in Uruguay because the soils are generally shallower than in the pampas on the Argentine side.

Uruguay is crossed by a vast number of rivers and streams that are an abundant source of water, which can be harnessed for irrigation with relative ease and at reasonable costs.

In many cases, rainwater may be stored in dams that are built on the beds of rivers and streams that cross the fields, taking advantage of the undulating topography. In other cases, water for irrigation can be extracted directly from rivers with appropriate administrative permits, and undergroundwater may also be used.

The two systems most commonly used are the sprinkler system or center pivot, which has a lot of precision in water management but requires very high investment per hectare and laminar or surface irrigation systems which are less accurate in the administration of water resources but require substantially less investment per hectare.

Infrastructure and management of irrigation systems  

The laminar or surface irrigation systems takes the water resources for irrigation by means of a a pumping system which extracts the water from the river, stream or reservoir.

The water is carried through pipelines and canals through the fields partly taking advantage of gravity and following the natural slope of the ground and, in other part, by pumping the water to a higher point up land of the reservoir from which the farms located at a lower plane are irrigated.

The land is previously prepared and systematized with the help of satellite systems using "taipas", rows and grooves designed to obtain adequate drainage of the fields for irrigation. The irrigation system is used to give away the necessary millimeters of water not secured through rainfall during the most critical periods of the summer.

Watch video with interview to Bernardo Bocking showing how the irrigation systems work

Crop control and use of irrigation  

Soybeans are regularly monitored in situ by an agronomist and a team of crop inspectors, who watch for any problems in the implementation of irrigation systems or sign of crop suffering, either by the presence of pests or weeds, deficits in nutritional demands, excessive heat or lack of water.

Additionally, a satellite monitoring system is used, sometimes using the pay service provided by INIA, which shows the temperature and the moisture content of the different fractions of each field.

In critical periods for the crops, generally during the hotter summer months of December, January and February, when the demands of crop moisture are higher and rainfall is low, irrigation systems are put to work until the moisture levels are appropriate.

The amount of water supplied by irrigation is adjusted according to the needs of each crop, which are controlled by monitoring in situ, aerial views and satellite monitoring. The water is managed within each field using a system of hoses and gates that are extended and opened by personnel which is specially trained and hired for that purpose.

Irrigation has a significant effect over the yield of the crops  

Irrigation can greatly mitigate the problems associated with the risk of drought. Over and above, it also has a significant effect on crop yields.

The controlled application of irrigation in times of hydric stress during the summer significantly increases the yield of crops. While yields of rainfed crops typically range between 1.6 and 2.2 tons per hectare in normal years, yields of irrigated crops usually range between 2.9 and 3.8 tons per hectare. The difference in yield is more noticeable if there is a drought.

Irrigation develops in the north of Uruguay

Irrigation conference and open field day in northern Uruguay  

MonteClaro organizes annualy, generally during February, a conference with an open field day on crops irrigation together with the National Agriculture Research Institute of Uruguay (INIA), which includes visits to the farms and analysis and comparison of results obtained.

The Minister of Agriculture participated of the Irrigation Conference and open field day organized by MonteClaro and the National Agriculture Research Institute of Uruguay (INIA)

More than 300 attended the conference and open field day organized by MonteClaro

Av. Barbieri 1880, Salto, República Oriental del Uruguay
Tel.: (+54 11) 5432-7744 / (+598) 473 40-602