December 19, 2014
Reducing water use to help Italian farmers produce more with less

1939960_230197530521981_187590912_nAs part of our work to help farmers produce food in a more sustainable way, we have been working with farmers to develop systems that improve efficiency in the use of natural resources.

One of these projects is AquaTEK™ Launched in 2013, AquaTEK is an irrigation water management system developed as a partnership with our DEKALB seed team to help Italian corn farmers increase efficiency in the use of water, energy and land, by maximising production and reducing the consumption of water and fuel.   We wrote about this system on the blog earlier in the year, and Italian readers have been following the progress of the system on the AquaTEK (Italian language) blog here. You can also read more about the system here and check out our videos about the AquaTEK project (in several languages) on our YouTube page.

After two years of joint work on the project, the initial results are now out and show that AquaTEK ™ is delivering on the project’s aims.

In addition to increasing production by achieving up to 20 metric tons of corn per hectare, the AquaTEK™ system has:

–          saved 17% irrigation water use

–           increased energy efficiency by 20%

–          delivered a 12% yield increase vs. traditional irrigation with drum irrigation system

–          Reduced  nitrogen leaching by 78%

We should also note that these are not just our results. To help develop and scientifically assess the project, we partnered with the University of Milan (Università degli Studi di Milano), and with a leading company in micro-irrigation, Netafim, and these results were launched at a conference earlier this month in Milan, presented by Prof. Roberto Confalonieri, and  Federico Bertoli – Monsanto Europe’s Commercial Lead for Italy- and Mr. Francesco Berneri, an Italian farmer who has experienced AquaTEK™ system in his farm of Lombardi.

The AquaTEK system is an excellent example of how partnerships, collaboration and innovation can help us help farmers produce food more sustainably, conserving precious resources for future generations.



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