and believes strongly in experimentation with innovative agricultural methods. Thanks to this approach, the farming business has established itself in Italy as an important pioneer for the sector. All management and agronomic processes benefit from complete traceability, thanks to software that allows monitoring of each cultivation and production cycle, including analytical management of costs for every business unit. There is a three-fold objective: to increase the quality of production, simplify operations for personnel and reduce working times. Here are a few examples:
This is a contemporary concept of agricultural management which uses a combination of new technologies (GPS satellite navigation, GIS geographic systems, sensors, etc.) to monitor and optimise production processes. This innovative approach allows improved yield from the land whilst using less resources: Agricola Dante applies it with the goal of controlling costs and reducing environmental impacts, producing more and achieving higher quality. Furthermore, a new cutting-edge seeder allows us to adjust the quantity of seed with extreme precision in its release.
This consists of seeding directly on ground that has not been worked using special seeders. For 30 years, Agricola Dante has combined this technique with cover crops, which are not harvested but improve soil fertility to the benefit of the crops that follow.
This technique involves working 45-70 cm wide strips of land, to a depth of around 15 cm, alternating these with strips where all cultivation residue is left on the surface. This has the advantage of saving energy and allows more sustainable management of cultivation.
In addition to guaranteeing all the advantages of traditional polyethylene mulch, biodegradable mulch involves laying entirely biodegradable film on the land, which is completely free from toxic effects. Agricola Dante is amongst the first farming companies in Italy to dedicate several hectares of fields to this type of application: an important step towards sustainable cultivation, particularly from an organic perspective.
The orchard is equipped with modern hail and insect protection systems which guarantee production in the event of extreme weather and offer more sustainable crop protection against harmful insects.
Agricola Dante is fully irrigated. Thanks to new technologies, various systems are employed, helping to save water. The company has 6 large self-powered automatic systems that cover a total surface area of around 500 hectares: five central pivot units and one 1 km lateral move system. Irrigation systems can be programmed and controlled remotely via smartphone, allowing for greater efficiency and control.
The company uses underground pipe drainage systems across all of its land (with 12 metre spacing). This allows sub-irrigation during dry periods and natural drainage during periods of excessive rainfall.
The OraSì silos contain a special elevated sifter selection system, which cleans the soya, eliminating any impurities, and a metal detector that intercepts any metals present. In order to improve stock storage procedures, each batch is checked and documented in line with HACCP principles.
Agricola Dante has carried out, in collaboration with the Department of Tree Crops of the University of Bologna, a research project aimed at the development of fruit cultivars and innovative cultivation methods. The Company is also a partner of the Department of Agro-Food Sciences and Technologies of the University of Bologna, in a project for research and development of innovative low environmental impact defence strategies on intensive crops. In addition, Agricola Dante has an experimental field where it develops tests on new crops every year.