By Douglas MacDonald, special for eFarmN
Argentina has enormous potential for the breeding of buffalos, an animal with triple purpose (meat, milk and work), which represents an opportunity to diversify small and medium agricultural holdings, especially in marginal environments.
Diego Reynal and his father raise buffalos in the north of Argentina. They used to raise cattle, but in 2002 they change to buffalos. They started by buying 30 buffalos at La Rural in Formosa and never stop. Today they own 8,000 buffalos divided in two farms of their own, that in addition with another rented farm they are a total of 11,000 hectares.
“In both establishments we do the complete cycle, sell bubillos and fat buffalos, pregnant bubillas and buffalo bulls”, says Diego in dialogue with www.eFarmNewsAr.com, and added: “We are commercializing between 1,200 and 1,500 animals per year, and we keep growing with 500 animals per year”.
Most of the sell are set aside for internal market, although we use some minor percentage for export. “We sell some heavy bubillos that are over 500 kilos. On farms that are hard, resilient and low in NEA (NorthEast Argentina acronym) the buffalo is very superior than beef cattle. Produces more than double in kilos and is lower in cost. Our production cost it´s around 15 argentine pesos per kilo, and the sell is around 25 argentine pesos (1U$S = 27AR$). It gives you better profit than cattle. The idea is to start growing on the external market”, Reynal explains.
According to father and son the key for rising buffalos is set on the management. Diego explains that a docile buffalo it´s easier to manage than the beef cattle, they have more respect for the electric wire. Also, they are more intelligent when they do rotations. They only remove parasites three or four times a year, and they give them copper, very similar to cattle. And they don´t have any tick issue. “The health investment is never over $2 argentine pesos per kilo”, says Reynal. And he adds: “it´s a very fine animal that allow as to double our meat production per ha compared with the complete cycle we used to have for cattle production”.
Contact Diego Reynal: firstname.lastname@example.org