Tuesday, June 03, 2008

South American Highlights #11

Fazenda Barcelona

Welcome back to South America! I still have so many things to document about our trip so let's head out to another farm today.

Owned by the Gorgen Brothers who emigrated from Argentina as tractor drivers , we spent the afternoon at -

their farm, Fazenda Barcelona.

It was a very big farm in terms of land base, production, equipment and workers. Brian, our guide (originally a farmer from Missouri), arranged for us to visit this showpiece farm in Bahia State.

This machine shed had 14 John Deere tractors

and 7 corn planters in it. There were more tractors outside parked with spraying equipment or moving trailers and other implements. I think the official count was 20+ - see what I mean by big operations?!

All machinery repairs were done on the farm by a crew of mechanics. I like this picture of used bearings.

Six gigantic grain storage bins each held 50,000 bushels of grain and were connected to the dryer with legs and elevators.

The crop manager was eager to show how healthy and big the cotton plants were out in the field. Their main crops here were soybeans, cotton and corn.

Cotton blossoms!

You can tell a fertilized blossom because it turns pink! You need to have a blossom like this in order to grow a cotton boll and for farmers in this area 8 or 9 bolls per plant would be a very good yield.

This farm had its own crop duster for spraying crops. The pilot was from Sao Paulo and came to the farm for 6 months during the growing season. My brother runs an aerial application business so it was fun to visit a bit with this young guy. I wished I'd taken along a picture of Brent's plane to show him. He did understand when I said it was an Ag-Cat biplane. (I hope I had it right!)

Here's one of the cotton pickers that goes between the rows and plucks the bolls off the plants. I think they had 4 or 5 of these guys.

These are the machines that would compress the picked cotton into modules which would be sent to the gin (remember that visit a while back?).

One of the first things we were shown on every farm in Brazil were the living quarters for workers. There are strict regulations protecting workers and assuring that they are provided with a good quality of life. Most workers stay on the farm during the week and go home on their one day off (which would likely vary according to the season and what needed to be done).

The green movement is alive and well in Brazil, we were glad to see. Many farms had little stations set up around the living quarters to make it easy for workers to recycle and compost. I think this would be a cool spot to take pictures!

The managers were so gracious and had arranged for us to be served coffee and snacks in the cafeteria area. It was a great visit to a very well-managed operation. Our hosts were patient with our many, many questions and took time to allow us to wander all over their farms.

And big thanks to Melinda for helping me change my banner around today! What do you think - like the new look?


  1. Ooooh, I love the new look of you blog - the banner looks awesome!
    And more great photos and info from your trip. Helayna would have been in her glory with all those 'trakas'.

  2. I love the new look! So please send Melinda over here to do mine too!

  3. Those living quarters are amazing. That green... Wow. Very cool pic with the bins against the green background!

  4. It's crazy how big those farms are and all the equipment needed. Thanks for the agriculture lessons. I learn something new every time you write about this trip. You have so many memories from your time in SA.