Written By Eric Winans, Jacqueline Walters, Ali Nation, Lisa Nappier , and Stuart Pollen
After sleeping and eating breakfast at the Hotel Maestro, we all boarded the double decker toucan bus to start our day. Around 7:30, we departed Toledo City and set our sails for the Coodetec research facility in Cascavel. At this particular facility, they breed for new crop varieties and test crop protection products. We were warmly greeted by several members of the Coodetec staff and informed on their business model and products. Coodetec recently merged with Dow Agrosiences, so it was very interesting to hear about how this particular facility was adjusting to the changes. We were then given a tour of their labs and greenhouses. They walked us through the steps of germinating seed and inoculating soybeans with nematodes. Plants are inoculated with the nematodes to test for their resistance. After our tour, we were invited to join the staff for lunch in their cafeteria.
Our early afternoon was spent at a farm in the area where we were able to take part in conversation with the owner/operator with the help of our translator. We learned about the differences and similarities between farms in the U.S. and this farm, where they have no on-farm grain storage. At his time of the year, they are currently growing their second crop of the season. In this area, the rotation is commonly soybeans followed by corn.
Our evening was spent with Western Parana State University (Unioeste). We enjoyed learning about their university and the graduate programs that they offer. It was an honor to take part in the signing of an agreement between our university and theirs to expand our future cooperation together. After the exchanging of gifts, we were invited to join members of their graduate program at a BBQ hosted by Primato, a cooperative agroindustrial company. Great food and company was enjoyed by all after a busy day.