The Atlantic Ocean and the countries of Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil are to the east, while the Cordillera de los Andes and Chile are to the west. The country is divided into plateau areas that are bordered by mountains and the sea. The northern part of the country is dominated by the densely forested plains known as El Gran Chaco, while the central part of the country, stretching down to the Rio Negro, is dominated by the treeles pampas, which are one of the world's most important cattle-raising regions. The higher plains of Patagonia are located in the southern, narrow portion of the continent, where the terrain is rougher and less productive, and the climate is significantly colder. The Andes Mountains are the most prominent mountain range in Argentina, but there are also the San Luis and Cordoba Ranges, which jut out from the Andes in the province of Cordoba, and the Tandil Hills and Sierra Vantana, which lie between Buenos Aires and Bahia Blanca between the provinces of Buenos Aires and Bahia Blanca.
Argentina has more than 160 million hectares (400 million acres) of farmland, with approximately 60% of this being used for pasture, which is divided into large farms dedicated solely to the raising of cattle and sheep. Argentina has more than 160 million hectares (400 million acres) of farmland. In addition to crops like wheat, maize, rye, barley, and oats, the country's small farms are also growing in number. Other crops that are important to the country include sunflower seed, sugar, and cotton. With enough basic foodstuffs produced, Argentina is able to feed itself and still have enough left over to support an extensive international trade industry.
The pampas provide the majority of the raw materials for this production. She also happens to be a major wine producer. The most difficult challenge on the estancia, or cattle farm, is maintaining a constant supply of water. The rainy season is short, lasting only from December to January, and there may be severe droughts at other times of year as well. Wind pumps are used to draw water from wells in order to ensure that there is enough water available for the cattle to drink. Once covered in tough, wiry grass, the pampas has generally been planted with grasses that are more suited to grazing cattle by the farmers who have taken advantage of the favourable climate. As the cattle graze across the miles of flat tableland, they are looked after by cowboys known as gauchos, who are a mix of European and indigenous people whose ability to handle horses is well-known far beyond the borders of Argentina itself.
In order to keep the pastures in as good a condition as possible and to ensure that there will always be food for the animals during the knunoo nes of the year, these men must keep cattle or sheep moving through them on a daily basis. If they want to sell them, they must also ensure that they are regularly dipped in water and transport them to either a railroad or a river when it is time. A large number of horses must also be cared for because these men travel such long distances in a day that they may have to change horses four or five times before reaching their destination. Oil and natural gas are two of Argentina's most important natural resources, which are being exploited at an ever-increasing rate. It is extremely advantageous for the country that currently has oil to avoid incurring the expense of purchasing from abroad a substance that is essential to much of modern commerce and industry, including automobiles and diesel engines, heating, and an increasingly diverse range of petro-chemical and allied industries.