A glimpse of agriculture in Spain
Spain’s old-world charm is infused with music, food and wine. The Alltech Crop Science (ACS) Spain Crop Tour 2016 certainly enjoyed these Spanish delights, but attendees were there for something else: Spain’s agriculture.
Seventy-two tour participants representing Brazil, the United States, Canada, Morocco, Algeria, Greece and northern Spain commenced their week-long journey in southeastern Spain. They began with a visit to Primaflor, a producer of ready-to-eat salads that specializes in leafy vegetables. Primaflor farms over 14,000 acres and has been using ACS products for four years, resulting in increased quality and quantity. Inside a 7.5-acre, fully automated greenhouse, the group viewed the systems that allow the greenhouse to produce the equivalent of 22 acres’ worth of greens!
The lack of water throughout eastern Spain means that producers have to be more creative in their usage and make every drop count. From Plantiagro, a seeds and seedling producer in Murcia, to Daramezas and Castrejón Alto in Toledo, which produce grapes for cognac and olives, respectively, challenges include not only overcoming issues with scarcity, but also with salinity and poor water quality. Growers are constantly looking for ways to make their farms more efficient while maintaining and increasing productivity levels, something many of the tour participants found relatable.
Before ending with a day at Fruit Attraction, the largest agronomic trade show in Europe, the tour included a visit to the research fields and laboratory of Ideagro, an independent research group that has been working with ACS for years, as well as touring the table grape variety fields of ITUM and sightseeing in Murcia, Toledo and Madrid
After spending a week together, the group felt like a large family.
“The trip was wonderful in networking, fun and learning, but what truly makes a difference are the people we share the experience with,” noted Sebastião Rodovalho from Trisolo.
“In one word, I would describe the tour as wonderful, because it makes me want to do more, learn more,” said João Garcia, who represents Casa do Adubo. “I came back excited and full of knowledge to share.”
A few days later, Garcia shared his experiences from the tour with friends who were “amazed with all the information I was able to bring back,” he said. “With all that we learned during the week, Brazil and the world gained more experienced people when we returned home.”