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Chaco in Paraguay

The sun brings the rain

As flexible and creative as the Bauer Group itself: such are the companies that work with Bauer machines. In Paraguay, in the heart of the hottest region in South America, a Bauer pivot is operated with solar electricity.

The ingenious company Agroinvestment SA moved two years ago from eastern Paraguay to the Paraguayan Gran Chaco in the west (known as the Chaco for short). This 5,070 hectare region lies near the Argentinian and Bolivian borders, and 45 percent of the area is under natural conservation. The Chaco is home to the hottest location in South America, and frequent droughts occur here, especially during the winter half of the year.

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Sesame, chia, vegetables

Energy from the sun

This is a major challenge for the Braun and Martens families who founded the company in 2010. With four permanent employees and up to 20 seasonal workers, the farm previously cultivated exclusively sesame and chia, but in the year 2020, Agroinvestment began tests with potatoes, pumpkins, lucerne (alfalfa), anise and fennel with the help of two Bauer pivots. Rain is irregular, and precipitation is increasingly insufficient for sowing without a pivot (sowing of the autumn/winter harvest begins in March). However, sowing for the summer harvest should ideally take place already in October (two harvests are possible due to the climatic conditions).

Bauer Pivot Paraguay Gesellschafter
Excellence in quality

Pivots in the hot zone

“We decided on the Bauer pivots because these irrigation machines as well as the company’s customer service enjoy very good reputations for quality,” explains Viktor Martens from Agroinvestment. In the years to come, up to twelve more pivots are to be installed. With the solar-powered pivot, Agroinvestment is utilizing the one resource that makes irrigation essential here while also making it possible in the first place in a region lacking a comprehensive power grid: the sun, which supplies power beyond measure! In the test run, the pivot was driven by a submersible motor pump. This 100 HP pump was powered by a 150 kW solar system.

In principle, the system functions very well, explains Viktor Martens. However, a cloudy sky can reduce the performance, and the pump does not always achieve the same level of pressure. This led to the introduction of a new concept. A pulse output water meter is installed on the central tower of the pivot, and the pulses (and thereby the water quantity) are converted to a speed in order to guarantee even irrigation. In other words: when less water is flowing, the pivot moves more slowly; with more water, the speed increases – a brilliant solution by Agroinvestment.