It does not receive public funding
Editor in chief:

Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram LinkedIn

Agronomic monitoring: Conserve Italia launches record-breaking network

Sensors in the field and artificial intelligence in the project born from the partnership with xFarm Technologies

The largest agronomic monitoring network in Italy is born in Emilia-Romagna, where field sensors and artificial intelligence support fruit growers on multiple fronts, providing precise indications on when and how to irrigate, for example, or on the appropriate time to apply a treatment against an insect or pathogen. This latest generation digital agriculture model, which when faced with problems in the field reduces intervention times, thus increasing efficiency and sustainability, was developed by the tech company xFarm Technologies and Conserve Italia, a point of reference in Europe for fruit and vegetable preserves and holder of well-known brands such as Valfrutta, Yoga, Cirio, Derby Blue and Jolly Colombani. A project that started at full speed in March 2024 and will last three years, with the aim of giving agronomic support to the 200 agricultural companies present in Romagna that participate in the supply chain projects for planned industrial fruit plantings and provide , through 7 cooperatives, apricots, yellow peaches, nectarines, percoches, pears and apples.

The agronomic monitoring network is spread over 700 hectares and involves the installation of 600 sensors supplied by xFarm Technologies to the companies contributing to Conserve Italia. From weather stations to soil humidity and leaf wetness sensors, these instruments, whose positioning in orchards has already begun, will make it possible to create monitoring cells capable of precisely detecting the environmental conditions of the different areas in which the producers. This will allow agricultural companies to use the instrumentation in an optimized and shared way, so that each can receive detailed reporting, necessary for internal agronomic choices, while Conserve Italia technicians can have an overview that is always updated in real time.

The data collected by the sensors will also be exploited to identify, through field tests, the best agronomic strategies for orchard management. In fact, Conserve Italia and xFarm Technologies are studying protocols and identifying the 10 companies in which the experimentation of new technologies for the defense of crops from pathogens and the efficiency of land irrigation will begin.

On this occasion, innovative tools will be exploited such as intelligent traps for the automatic recognition of insects thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms, forecasting models and Decision Support Systems (DSS) which help to identify the ideal moment to carry out the treatments, protecting crops as best as possible and, at the same time, reducing the number of interventions. Smart Spraying technology will also be tested, so far exploited for the variable rate distribution of liquid products on specialized crops, also for fruit counting and recognition of the state of ripeness, using special computer vision algorithms.

“This project represents a turning point for the digitalisation of fruit and vegetable supply chains: thanks to new digital technologies it is possible to monitor such vast and heterogeneous areas in an effective way. Fruit plants are notoriously among the most complex to manage, as they present a large number of possible problems, which are not always easy to recognize and treat. Having a large quantity of data available from the different production areas will not only allow us to make better decisions, but also more timely ones, with an increase in efficiency and a reduction in interventions, with a view to sustainability", comments Giovanni Causapruno , Global Head of B2B at xFarm Technologies.

“We want to continue to give a future to fruit growing in the Emilia-Romagna area where the majority of our agricultural social base is concentrated, which is why we are committed to implementing interventions to support producers also on the precision agriculture front", he declares Daniele Piva , director of Agricultural Production at Conserve Italia. "The collaboration with xFarm Technologies is strategic because it allows us to accompany us towards more sustainable production, both for farms and for the environment, in a transition that is now essential to deal with climate change . With weather stations and sensors installed, farmers will have detailed information to support their decisions. This data will cover a large territory, which goes well beyond the 200 agricultural companies involved, and can be made available to the technicians of agricultural cooperatives also for crops dedicated to the fresh market".

lml - 39462

EFA News - European Food Agency