Since we completed our conversion to certified organic in 1994, the whole estancia and its production have been certified organic by Ecocert, an international certification body. This guarantees the health and quality of all our produce to our buyers and consumers.
We strongly support introducing pesticide-free organic farming in peri-urban areas of Argentina and are happy to collaborate in disseminating knowledge and helping grow such initiatives.
Soil and soil management
Soil is the basis of our whole-farm ecology.
Organic soil management makes use of the biological activity of soil organisms:
nitrogen fixation by bacteria attached to the roots of legumes such as alfalfa
carbon accumulation in pastures and green manures
recycling of nutrients from livestock manures by insects and earthworms, fungi and bacteria
We monitor underlying soil nutrient deficiencies or acidity by regular soil analysis and remedied with occasional application of naturally occurring rock dusts and/or lime. Maintaining good soil structure is crucial.
An animal welfare driven approach.
Our suckler (or breeding) herd of 1,800 cows is made up of Hereford and Angus breeds, and we are also introducing Limousin for three-way crossing. The cows calve and graze on the semi-natural and natural pampas pastures, helping to manage them for their biodiversity. Our weaned calves are reared on mixed alfalfa/grass swards, using a rotational grazing system, moving the cattle once or twice a day to maximise the availability of quality forage. All cattle are grazing pastures throughout the year. The finished cattle are usually sold at 22 – 26 months to produce beef for organic markets, local and/or international.
We observe the highest standards of animal health and welfare are observed; the management regime minimises disease; there are no growth promoters or routine antibiotics. Alternative natural remedies are used, such as tannin for intestinal worm control. Medication is only used when an animal is sick.
Crops - arable and ley rotation
We grow between 700 and 800 hectares of crops annually, using a rotation starting with a 4-year fertility-building alfalfa ley. This is followed by soya beans, maize and finally sunflower, together with some wheat, barley and peanuts for harvest and sorghum for cattle feed. These main crops are interspersed with cash crops of rye, oats and vetches to build soil fertility, control weeds and provide forage for the cattle.
Non-GMO seeds are sourced locally.
The use of all synthetic fertilisers and pesticides is prohibited.
Weed control is achieved by the long rotation and mechanical cultivation, including the innovatory use of a Garford camera-guided inter-row weeding machine in row crops.
We have a mobile dairy with Jersey cows; they have their own rotation on our pastures and give us organic products with potential added value.
Raised beds produce seasonal vegetables for all our employees and their families as well as for visitors to the estancia.
Hives are producing in many of the estancia’s small woodland areas; their bees are valuable in pollinating some crops. Our honey is consumed on the farm and is available locally.
Fundación Dos Hermanas is a refugio of Vida Silvestre Argentina and a member of Red Argentina de Reservas Naturales Privadas. The whole estancia forms a Natural Protected Area which demonstrates the integration of conservation, cropping and livestock production. It includes a wild, unploughed area of natural pampas grassland.
Conservation & Biodiversity
Map of Conservation features
This map shows the locations of the estancia’s multiple key conservation features.
Conservation Plan - baselines and monitoring
Our conservation plan adopts baselines for each of the following: native grasslands, birds, rodents, amphibians and water quality.
Laguna, matorral, and pastizal landscape
Fundación Dos Hermanas contains part of the Laguna Las Tunas alkaline lake. The adjoining 1,000 ha wetland and natural native grassland merits special attention for the conservation of the original pampa grassland and the remaining biodiversity.