Sergio Francone: “Fraga products meet the highest quality standards.”

The Business Manager presents the solutions of the company for the beef and dairy livestock. The forthcoming new chopper. And how far the company got abroad.
Implementos forrajeros de Alta Calidad

In 2019 Fraga is celebrating its 60th birthday since it started with the founder Nélido Francone’s vision and effort.
For formal purposes, Fraga is a company from Frontera, Santa Fe. Except that, across the street, it is already in Cordoba province. Beyond these issues, Fraga is located in the eye of the area that once was defined as the largest dairy belt in Latin America. Over the years, agriculture started outweighing beef and dairy production and livestock was kept in smaller areas.
Fraga moved with the times and today it has machines to take the feed efficiently to the animal’s mouth. They were even successfully tested in foreing market.
Sergio Francone, Business Manager, describes all the process in an interview with MaquiNAC and talks about the forthcoming launch of a new forage chopper.

Added value
What is the technological contribution that Fraga is making to livestock?

In our beef and dairy sector, we believe that the producer must make the feed for his animals by himself. “The forage storage is the most important imput that the producer has to lower costs.” We think is important to put an added value on what we manufacture. In our case, adding advanced machinery to manufacture with higher quality.
In the case of the producers, who are owners of agricultural SMEs, adding value is generating beef or milk. Can they optimize it through appropriate forage management?

It seems to us that the forage storage is the most important imput for the producer to lower costs. So, Fraga, with its machines, aims for the producer to make his forage or to make mechanical grazing.

what is the current company’s product line made of?

We manufacture the forage chopper, which is the traditional one made by Fraga. It is useful to chop corn, sorghum and grass. “We made a machine called grass picker which is used to cut grass, not to chop.”
We also made the forage wagon to carry the grass. And to close the circle, we designed the grass bagger.
So, it is possible to make corn silage, a sorghum silage or grass silage. We carry it on a forage wagon and we unload it inside of the bagger.
What variant did you add to those product lines?

To this we add the fresh grass chopping and delivery. That is to say, harvesting the grass every day and take it to the animals.
So, we made a machine called grass picker which is used to cut grass, not to chop. It loads the material on to the forage wagon.

Managing the grass, what kind of benefits does the producer have?

With the possibility of enlarging, in the sense that the producer can have more grass to be cut and carried, preventing cattle trampling.
“In the near future we will have a 240 HP Cummins built-in engine forage chopper”. Besides, silage which can be bag silage or bunker type needs to be extracted and carried. So, we manufacture 3 different silage extractors.
Two of them are to take out bagged silage and one to extract from bunker type. The extractors have huge working capacity: These extract 1,000 kilos per minute only with 60 HP.

Is Fraga preparing a new machine?
In the near future we will have a 240 HP Cummins built-in engine forage chopper to increase the hectares per day.
Roughly, it would do the work of 3 small choppers. The prototype is working in the region of Villa María, in Córdoba. We are perfecting it and the final model is coming soon.

Which foreign destinations were reached by Fraga?
We had good exports between the years of 2008 and 2009, when there were competitive prices for the market abroad. “We have sent machines to Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Cuba and Peru, among other markets.” We have sent machines to Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Cuba and Peru, among other markets.

Did the equipmets addapt well?
We work with our own designs. And these markets have terrains and grass types that are similar to the Argentinian ones.
In the local market, we go to the farms to see the customers’ needs; we did the same with the foreign markets, always working with our own machines.

Thus, is there a validation of the Fraga products in the international environment?
What we were able to do in foreign trade actions was to get our products to meet the highest quality international standards.

What interpretation can be made about the livestock market?

With the soy boom in our region, there was a strong tendency to plant it and it displaced both beef and dairy animals to the North. “The dairy producer bought more machinery than the beef operator for a daily need.” In our region, the animal production was intensified to devote more hectares for agriculture. Then, this process made the region of North of the country being technified because most of the fields are not able to be sown, but are profitable for livestock.

How has the dairy process been?
In the dairy sector, which is the sector in which we focus the most, it had been concentrating more and more on bigger farms and the amount of milk produced is the same. Even if many farms have closed down.
Which affect us the most is the local currency VS dollar situation. The producer that delivers the milk, charges in pesos (ARS) and there are many supplies priced out in dollars. There are many supplies for the machines we manufacture priced out in dollar as well. And we try to keep a stable price in ARS peso, at the mercy of profitability, a price according to how much beef or dairy farmer can pay.

Is the dairyfarm more demanding of machines?
The dairy producer bought more machinery than the farmer for a daily need.
The farm is a factory that requires feeding every day to sustain production.
On the other hand, beef farming is more flexible. You can go from an intensive approach to a more extensive one and, based on that, it requires more or less machinery.
The dairy sector requires higher production in fewer hectares. Besides, the dairy cow demands quality to produce and it is when the machinery appears.