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RIA. Revista de investigaciones agropecuarias

versión On-line ISSN 1669-2314


VALEIRO, A.  y  BIAGGI, C.. Revisión crítica de la evolución tecnológica de la cosecha de la caña de azúcar en la Argentina. RIA. Rev. investig. agropecu. [online]. 2019, vol.45, n.1, pp.31-43. ISSN 1669-2314.

The Argentinian sugar agroindustry is concentrated in the northwest region. Tucumán is the main producer, with 70% of the national planted area. It is almost impossible to think of the economic and social development of Tucumán separated from sugarcane and its industrialization. Now, with the new energy paradigms defying the crop, technological research and work with the actors of this sector aim to make the production of sugarcane not only profitable, but to also show an environmental management consistent with the increase of surface within the last 20 years. The sustainability of sugar cane cultivation is especially related to the way of harvesting, which is the stage of greatest importance in its production. The type of sugar cane harvest influences a number of aspects that make the productive performance of the crop, its economic result, the generation of sectoral and regional employment, the evolution of industrial technology and the environmental impact of production. In addition, in any of its types, the harvest stands out for its impact within the total productive cost, representing between 25% and 35%, and therefore, any variation recorded at that stage has a strong impact on the final profitability of the crop. In this bibliographic review, the evolution of the different harvesting practices in Argentina is presented, highlighting the importance they have on the productivity and longevity of the cane fields and the consequences on natural resources, especially the soil. A critique is made about the use of integral harvesters, with emphasis on the advantages, limitations and technical challenges of this technological paradigm. The integral mechanization of sugarcane harvest, it is concluded, is far from being simply the replacement of human labor by a machine. Rather it represents a change implied by a new order of the activity; characterized by the remarkable reduction of the time necessary for the harvest. The problems still needed to be solved - the lack of adaptation to small-sized plantations; crop losses in the field and in the field-industry interface; the potential for soil compaction / crop decay and the burning of remaining stubble - indicate that the integral mechanized system is far from being the end of the sugarcane harvest development path and that greater technological supply is still needed for this key productive stage.

Palabras clave : sugarcane; harvest; chopper harvester; sustainability.

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