At Macfrut 2021: new frontiers in the protected cultivation of fruit

At Macfrut 2021: new frontiers in the protected cultivation of fruit

 
Cesena (8 July 2021) Protection is one of the hot topics that has long been discussed by technicians and producers in the fruit-growing sector. Nowadays, it is unthinkable to imagine planting valuable species without accurate and suitable protection against increasingly unpredictable weather conditions (especially frost and hail) and a growing number of animal and plant pests, which are constantly evolving.
Technology, which has come a long way over the years, now comes to the rescue. Seeing is believing at Macfrut (7-9 September in Rimini), where there will be a special section in the dynamic area featuring the latest innovations from leading companies in the sector. The workshopNew frontiers in the protected cultivation of fruit”, to be held on Tuesday, 7 September (at 3 pm), will delve deeper into this topic, with the participation of three leading experts in the field.
We asked these three experts, who are all university lecturers, to give us a preview of some of the content so that it can be examined in greater detail during the trade fair.
 
First up is Stefano Lugli from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, who will talk about covering systems for cherry trees: ‘Over the years, covering systems for cherry trees have changed along with planting systems, which have also evolved. After anti-rain cover models were introduced about 30 years ago in traditional cherry orchards to protect cherries from cracking, multi-purpose covering systems are now available, which protect specialised crops in intensive farming from a number of biotic and abiotic adversities: insects such as drosophila, flies and stinkbugs, birds and weather events such as hail, rain and wind. All in a single solution to protect high-quality and high-yield crops.’
 
Davide Neri, from the Marche Polytechnic University, focuses on multifunctional covering systems. ‘The use of multifunctional covering systems in orchards is a proactive protection strategy against biotic and abiotic stresses, which is also useful when it comes to planning production and fruit quality. Special photoselective, shading and reflective nets can positively alter the light spectrum, shading and thermal regime with a considerable impact on photosynthesis and plant welfare depending on the type of material (colour and texture) and installation. Covering systems can prevent fruits and leaves from getting wet (anti-rain), damage due to hail, wind and birds, and/or prevent insects from getting in thanks to the use of close-meshed nets on single or multiple rows. Covering systems also reduce ultraviolet radiation (by about 20% in the case of photoselective anti-hail nets) with significant benefits for operators and a reduced risk of skin cancer. Ultimately, the cost analysis of covering systems should include the need to reuse plastics at the end of the cycle, the potential stimulation of certain pathogens and parasites, and the potential impact on the landscape, with a view to achieving sustainable use (economic, social and environmental).’
 
Rino Ghelfi, from the University of Bologna, touches on another key issue, namely the economic sustainability of these systems. ‘The fact that adverse weather events are becoming more intense and that new pathogens are spreading has made it much more difficult to predict yields for many fruit species. This affects not only the budgets of farms, but also the entire supply chain, since the available produce deteriorates, thus decreasing the efficiency of the market preparation process and making it more difficult to maintain good trade relations.’ The Unibo lecturer then goes into detail: ‘While using protection systems certainly improves harvest quality and yield, the related economic and financial aspects ultimately determine their success and subsequent popularity. That is why the presentation offers an economic evaluation of a selection of protective systems that are currently available in the fruit growing sector, with a special focus on cherry trees: from traditional anti-hail systems to multifunctional covering systems that include anti-insect nets, single-row or complete cover integrated systems, with various levels of automation.’
 
After these three presentations, the companies exhibiting at Macfrut 2021 will have the chance to briefly illustrate the features of the proposed protection systems. At the end of the event, a guided tour of the dynamic area will take place, during which visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about these new technologies.
 
Get together in Rimini
 
 
Macfrut Press Office
PrimaPagina Cesena
(Filippo Fabbri)
Tel. +39 3471567681

Share this!