Rural development program
Initiatives carried out as part of the 2014 – 2020
regional rural development program Type of operation 16.1.01 -
Operational Groups of the European Innovation Partnership:
“Agricultural productivity and sustainability” – Focus Area 4B ––
Project PRECISION AGRICULTURE ON INDUSTRIAL VEGETABLE CROPS
TO IMPROVE MANAGEMENT OF WATER RESOURCES,
FERTILISERS AND PESTICIDES
The interest of the Conserve Italia Group has been prompted by new trends being demonstrated by European consumers, particularly an increasing focus on healthiness of the product and protection of the environment, which are an increasingly important and sometimes decisive factor in judging the price/quality ratio. In practice, large groups of consumers are willing to accept higher product costs in exchange for the guarantee that the product has been obtained with the utmost respect for the environment.
The competitiveness of Italian (and European) products on the world market can be achieved by highlighting the carefully controlled and limited impact of their production on the environment.
This must be achieved without neglecting either the industrial need to standardise product characteristics or consumers’ desire for improved intrinsic quality of the product in terms of its nutritional value and organoleptic aspect.
This project is being proposed with this organisational and market scenario in mind.
Definition of specific "best practices" by culture and area, together with the implementation of IT support to process the factors (soil quality, temperature, rainfall, soil moisture, level of plant growth, pesticides, etc.) on which to base a management choice and provide the producer with precise directions of intervention in the field.
The use of software weighted for crop and soil and climatic environment to improve the production efficiency of crop-growing, in terms of quality/quantity and environmental impact.
DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES
The following outputs are expected with specific reference to tomato, sweet corn, peas and “borlotti” beans crops:
• identification of the characteristics of the crops on which to focus breeding programs and with the potential to increase yields, especially for aspects which are already the subject of breeding programs;
• definition of in silico ideotypes for the identified traits, considering the characteristics of the germplasm available and the known genetic variation range. This approach allows the definition and analysis of ideotypes potentially achievable in vivo;
• guidelines for improved crop management with a focus on a targeted and timely use of inputs (water, fertilizer, pesticides) for a less polluting impact and greater water savings;
• LCA analysis for verification of the effectiveness of the proposed models;
• evaluation of the production performance of ideotypes as defined in the target area and in climate change scenarios.
The result, in terms of improved management of water resources, fertilizers and pesticides, will be obtained by applying the guidelines in the field and by introducing improved ideotypes for the areas studied.