An initiative created within the scope of the Regional Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020 - Operation Type 16.1.01 – Operational Groups of the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability – Focus Area 5E - Project FRUTTIFI-CO
FRUTTIFI-CO: FRUIT GROWING AIMED AT CARBON FOOTPRINTING
Modern agriculture can significantly contribute to mitigating current climate change via two main mechanisms: reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) and increasing the absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide into the plant-soil system. The former is tied to agricultural practices focused on retaining organic matter and reducing the use of nitrogenous fertilizers. The latter, on the other hand, is based on the ability of the agricultural system to capture carbon from the atmosphere for fairly long periods, “sequestering” it in the form of plant biomass and/or organic substances in the soil.
On the basis of these considerations, the Operational Group FRUTTIFI-CO came into being, composed of research institutions (CRPV, I.TER and UNIBO) and five farms belonging to the main fruit-producing organisations in Emilia-Romagna (Apofruit Italia, Agrintesa and Granfrutta Zani). The members of this group share the objective of monitoring the carbon footprint of the fruit-farming sector with reference to the ability of the soil to sequester organic carbon. The partner farms are not only located in pedologically diverse environments, but also represent the different types of production in the fruit-growing sector: integrated, organic and biodynamic production. The following aims have been established:
Verify the carbon content of the soil used for fruit-growing, considering that over the last 15-20 years the practice of turfing inter-rows has become consolidated and therefore we can assume that the amount of organic matter has increased compared to the data available in the Regional Soil Maps, which mostly date back to the 1990s;
Encourage the use of the Carbon Hydrogen Nitrogen Elemental Analysers to measure organic substances in the soil, instead of the widely used Walkey & Black Method, for reasons linked to the severe environmental impact of potassium dichromate, a highly carcinogenic reagent used in this method;
Study the microbial biomass, an active labile pool of organic substances, to understand the dynamics of organic carbon turnover in the soil, using indices such as metabolic quotient (qCO2), microbial quotient (qMic), mineralisation quotient (qM) and biological fertility index (BFI);
Define the environmental impact of the cultivation of some fruit species in terms of greenhouse gas emission through Life Cycle Assessment.
These actions are aimed at identifying and quantifying farming practices which mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases as well as defining and divulging appropriate “guidelines” for the agronomic management of orchards aimed at sequestering organic carbon in the soil depending on the species of fruit.
FUNDING: RDP 2014-2020 EMILIA-ROMAGNA REGION Measure 16.1.01 – Operational Groups of the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.
% FUNDING: 100% Measure 16 Focus Area 5E - 80% Measure 1
TOTAL COST: 199804.59 €
GRANT PERMITTED: 199308.59 €
With the contribution of EAFRD:
REGULATION (UE) N. 1305/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND COUNCIL
Project start date: 01/04/2017; project end date: 31/03/2020
FRUTTIFI_CO IOG PARTNERS
Centro Ricerche Produzioni Vegetali C.R.P.V. (Project Leader)
I.Ter Soc. Coop.
Alma Mater Studiorum – Bologna University
Spada Turilli Maria Luisa e Figli
Soc. Agr. Zani Monica e Zani Maurizio