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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - Handbook and Guidelines

O Handbook and Guidelines


c.so Inglesi 508, Sanremo tel. 0184 694826
e-mail andrea.allavena@entecra.it




Reg. Rollo 98, Albenga tel. 0182 554949

e-mail info@cersaa.it

Impresa Verde
Impresa Verde
Via Acquarone 8, Imperia tel. 0183 666993
e-mail impresaverde.im@coldiretti.it




Istituto Regionale per la Floricoltura

via Carducci 12, Sanremo tel. 0184 535149/50
e-mail irf@regflor.it


del Ponente SHOWCASES,
Distretto Agricolo Florovivaistico del Ponente
via Q. Mansuino 15, Sanremo tel. 0184 1928484
e-mail distrettosanremo@hotmail.it



LIFE+ 09 ENV/IT/067

Territorial integration, Production chain, Mauro G. Mariotti, Enrica Roccotiello

Waste Management, Website, Final
Area Protetta
Conference, Brochures, Leaflets, After LIFE

Uni.GE - Giardini Botanici Hanbury



c.so Montecarlo 43, Ventimiglia

tel. 0184 22661 e-mail m.mariotti@unige.it LIFE+ 09 ENV/IT/067
Handbook and Guidelines
Mauro G. Mariotti, Enrica Roccotiello Editors


LIFE+ 09 ENV/IT/067
Preface Presentation
Floriculture clearly represents the most important sector of the agriculture of the Liguria region (70% of The success of floriculture and flower nurseries is rooted in the beauty and novelty of its products. If a
the total) and maintains a remarkable position (around 25%) at the national level in the production of cut flower or a plant meets the customers taste, if they surprise him/her, then the whole productive and
flowers, foliages and ornamental plants and is absolutely important in export (over ). The Liguria region, commercial chain is bolstered up. The feeling that is created between product and customer is deter-
in addition to promoting the modernization of farms, has for years been activating a series of collaborations mined, indeed, both by the nature proper to all living organisms and by the work of man that with pro-
with corporate bodies and scientific structures in the realization of projects for experimentation and testing cesses that are only apparently simple has tried to lead nature itself towards tastes that change in time,
aiming at reducing consumptions and energy costs. The introduction and spread of technological inno- but often evoke the tradition. This particular relationship between product and customer, sometimes, at
vations, products and processes in the garden and floriculture sector, has particularly concerned the use least in the case of potted plants, also represents the passage of a witness that is offered by those who
of renewable energy sources for the production of electric and/or thermal energy (e.g. solar energy, wind grow flowers with passion, but as a profession, if it is done with pleasure, with simple love for forms,
turbines, biomasses), as alternatives to the use of fossil fuels and new plant for energy saving. colours and life.
The economic crisis that weighs on Italian production realities has not spared floriculture; not by chance Behind all this a complex world exists, perhaps the most complex in the agricultural sphere, because
the European Union too has recognized this and, through AGEA, has supported flower production and floriculture does not cultivate one or a few plant species, but turns its attention to innumerable species,
nurseries most in difficulty. In 2011, indeed, for the first time, the EU regulation contemplated direct support varieties and hybrids with very different demands from one another. The complex structure of the flower
to farmers in crisis regarding flower growing. These general conditions cannot do away with the choices and nursery chain is represented by endless phases, relationships, choices and actions that involve
that the flower and floriculture farms have to adopt for the present and for the future. The not too distant numerous different people and bodies. Among these relationships, there are those that link the Riviera
future of floriculture passes through laboratories and experimental greenhouses where, alongside improve- flower growers to the flower shop in Northern Europe or in some other distant country, but there are also
ment of the quality of the product, the best ways have to be sought to reconcile economic demands and the relationships between the producers and the environment that surround every farm of theirs. Today
respect for the environment. But the work of public bodies like the Regional Institute of Floriculture (IRF), the floriculturist, like any other inhabitant of this planet, is required to show particular attention and greater
the Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture (CRA), the Centre for Experimentation and responsibility in relation to the environment. Thus it is, therefore, that the European Community, since
Agricultural Assistance (CeRSAA) and the University of Genoa would be of slight utility if the results of this its foundation always careful to blend socio-economic and environmental demands, has provided an
work were not shared with the farms and with the realities of the production line. The future of floriculture important tool to face some of the critical problems connected with the flower and nursery sector. The
therefore sees full involvement of farms and farmers, above all the youngest people, who can blend the LIFE+ programme has represented this tool to support in the most appropriate way the involvement of
knowledge of their elders with a modern vision and application, respecting the European normative picture the farms of the flower and nursery sector in western Liguria in the SUMFLOWER project, devoted to
of protection of the environment. working on the sustainability of floriculture, to finding solutions to apply regulations and EU orientations
It is therefore with great pleasure that we welcome the guidelines for sustainable floriculture compiled within in the best possible way, and to creating pilot structures in which new good agricultural practices can
the LIFE+ SUMFLOWER project. It sums up the techniques for promoting flower and vegetable growing, be made available and spread, making them repeatable in other small and medium farms. The LIFE+ 09
for flower producers, the staff of institutions and students at senior schools. Their principal objective is ENV/IT/067 SUMFLOWER project, financed by the European Commission, has also been an opportuni-
spread of knowledge of EU environmental legislation, with particular reference to the themes of water, ty to create a close synergy between farms and the university and other research and service bodies like
energy, pest management of crops, nitrates and waster. This is a tool to support self-assessment of the CRA-FSO, IRF and CeRSAA, to analyze the production chain in detail and to propose solutions aiming
sustainability of agricultural farms, for technological improvement and a better cost-benefit ratio. at reducing possible negative effects on the environment, through the sustainable use of resources
(water, energy, earth), the reduction and reuse of waste, and the careful choice of techniques for pest
management of crops with a smaller impact. This teamwork has also been possible thanks to the in-
Giovanni Barbagallo volvement of the Agricultural Flower and Nursery District of western Liguria, and above all thanks to the
Regional Minister for agriculture, floriculture, support of Liguria Green Enterprise. It has been possible to manage and complete the project, despite
fishing and aquaculture of the Liguria region the current economic difficulties, thanks to the work of many young people operating in the world of
research, services, and agricultural production. For the University of Genoa, particularly for the Hanbury
Renata Briano Botanical Gardens, LIFE+ SUMFLOWER has also represented an opportunity for renewing the tradition
Regional Minister for the environment and sustainable development, of its founder, sir Thomas Hanbury, who as long ago as the end of the nineteenth century, precisely
civil defence activities, hunting and fishing in inland waters, through involvement of the population, above all of young people, gave an impulse to the cultivation of
other economy and sensible lifestyles of the Liguria region flowers and plants in western Liguria.
The pages that follow, compiled on the basis of common work that lasted three years, include a manual
summing up the state of the art of the relations between floriculture and environment and the guidelines,
illustrating technical choices concretized in good agricultural practices to privilege so that floriculture can
be affirmed that is always able to offer a splendid and new product, guaranteed by greater sustainability
and a smaller environmental impact.

Mauro Mariotti
President of the Service Centre of the Hanbury Botanical Gardens,
University of Genoa, Project manager of LIFE+ SUMFLOWER






3.1.3 CHOICE OF PHOTOVOLTAIC MATERIALS 22 Choice of photovoltaic materials 22 Crystalline modules 22 Thin film panels 23 Gallium arsenide (GaAs) 24 Cadmium telluride (CdTe) / Cadmium sulphide (CTS) 24 Copper indium diselenide / (copper indium gallium diselenide (CIS and CIGS) 24



SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - Handbook and Guidelines Index

4.1.4 FERTILIZERS AND FERTILIZATION TECHNIQUES COMPARED 30 1.2.4 FACTORS ADVERSE/FAVOURABLE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF PHOTOVOLTAIC 80 Controlled release fertilizers 30 Factors adverse to the development of photovoltaic 80 Slow release fertilizers 31 Aspects favourable to the development of photovoltaic 81 Fertilizers containing nitrification inhibitors 31 1.2.5 INTEGRATED PRODUCTION CHAIN: FROM FINDING MATERIALS TO START-UP 82 Water-soluble fertilizers 31 1.2.6 ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES FOR ON-SITE EXCHANGE OR Organic fertilizers 32 STANDALONE MANAGEMENT OF ENERGY PRODUCTION 82 Horn-hoof mixtures 32 On-site exchange 82
4.1.5 COERCIVE REGULATIONS (LIGURIA REGION) 33 Dedicated withdrawal 82 Compulsory measures 33 The procedures summary 83
4.1.6 NITRATE VULNERABLE ZONE (NVZ) 34 The authorization dimension 84 Recommended measures 35 1.2.7 OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS OF PHOTOVOLTAIC GREENHOUSES 85 Measures applicable for production of aromatic species in pots 37 1.3 ENERGY SAVINGS: WIND power 86
4.2.3 EFFECTS OF PESTICIDES 41 Small wind turbines 87 Environmental pollution 41 Different types of wind power generators 87 Effects on water 42 1.3.3 INSTALLATION MODALITIES AND CHOICE OF LOCATION 88 Effects on soil 42 How wind machines react to wind 88 Effects on plants 43 Places where installations are possible 88 Effects on wild fauna 43 1.3.4 DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL WIND POWER SYSTEMS IN LIGURIA 90 Effects on human health 43 The potential market 90
4.2.5 PLANT TREATMENTS AND CONSUMERS 44 Opportunities for producing energy from micro-wind turbines and investment returns 91
4.2.6 CLASSIFICATION OF PESTICIDES 44 Micro-wind turbine energy production linked to the grid 91 Types of toxicity that pesticides can cause 45 1.3.5 BUREAUCRACY 92 Pathways through which poisoning can occur 45 1.3.6 TECHNOLOGICAL ANALYSIS 92
4.6.1 Disposal 65 2.2.2 SALE, PURCHASING, TRANSPORT AND STORAGE OF PESTICIDES 99 Enabling sale and purchase of PPs 99 Transporting pesticides 99
1. OPTIMIZING RESOURCES 71 Dosages, preparation and mixing ofthe product 100
1.1 Water Mixtures of pesticides 100
1.1.2 REMOTE CONTROL OF AUTOMATED IRRIGATION 72 Amount of water to be used for treatment 101
1.1.4 ADVANTAGES 76 Management of overflow at the end of the treatment 102
1.2 ENERGY SAVING: PHOTOVOLTAIC 77 Re-entry time 102
1.2.1 ENERGY SALE 77 Pre Harvest Interval (PHI) 102 Sale 77 On-site exchange 77
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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - Handbook and Guidelines Sustainable floriculture is possible

2.2.6 MANAGEMENT AND DISPOSAL OF AGRICULTURAL WASTE 102 Agricultural waste 103 Disposal of special waste 103 Waste dumps 104 Decontamination of empty containers 105



3.6 WHAT TO DO 119
Mauro G. Mariotti, Enrica Roccotiello
3.8 MANAGEMENT OF GREEN WASTE 120 European floriculture and nursery activity occupy around 24% of the surfaces used for such cultivations
in the world, amounting to 20% of world production. The importance of the sector in the context of our
4. USING AGRICULTURAL ORGANIC WASTE AS A RESOURCE: COMPOSTING 123 economy is testified to by the fact that it contributes around 6% to the total value of agricultural pro-
duction. Value production, on the basis of Ismea estimates, in 2003 was 2.6 million euro, divided into
1.6 million for flowers and potted plants and almost one million for nursery products (trees and bushes)
(Mipaaf 20051).
4.3.2 COMPOST CHECKS 129 The Liguria Region has over 12,000 farms in the flower growing and nursery sector occupying 6,000
4.4 USING COMPOST 130 hectares of production surface. These farms, mainly concentrated in the provinces of Imperia and Sa-
4.4.1 METHODS AND DOSES TO USE IN AGRICULTURE 131 vona (Riviera di Ponente, Liguria, north-western Italy), amount to 94% of total regional production in the
4.4.2 CONCLUDING GUIDELINES 131 sector and 20% of national production.
This production has a strong impact on the territory and produces environmental problems linked to the
5. FLORICULTURE: BALANCING SUSTAINABILITY 135 use of natural resources and the release of pollutants and greenhouse gases in all environmental sectors
(water, soil and atmosphere). Moreover, flower growing and nursery activities significantly contribute to
6. BLENDING QUALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY: CERTIFICATIONS 147 producing large quantities of organic and plastic waste that is not reusable.
6.1.1 SANREMO FLOWERS (2006) 148
Looking at the territorial and environmental situation, the main objectives of the LIFE sUMFLOWER project
are the following:
6.1.4 DALBENGA 149
creating a sustainable system for management of floriculture and ornamental horticulture, encompas-
6.1.5 FAIR FLOWER 149 sing the social, economic and environmental component of the territory, with particular attention to
some key environmental aspects (consumption of resources, use of soil, production of waste, etc.);
7. IMPROVING SKILLS: TRAINING 151 analyzing, appraising and reducing the main environmental impacts of floriculture improving the effi-
7.1 COURSES 151 ciency of the sector, without neglecting its profitability;
7.2 CATEGORIES AND BODIES WHICH ORGANIZE TRAINING COURSES 152 assisting small and medium enterprises in the floriculture sector in the application of the best available
7.2.1 CATEGORY ASSOCIATIONS 152 techniques, the technologies and innovative practices to guarantee respect for national and EU envi-
7.2.2 PROFESSIONAL BODIES 152 ronmental policy;
7.2.3 OTHER STRUCTURES 152 showing, in quantitative terms, in the framework of the Gteborg strategy, the opportunities and eco-
7.3 USEFUL LINKS 153 nomic advantages deriving from sustainable floriculture;

Ministry for agricultural and forestry policies, department of the agricultural and food production chains (2005). Specific Action plan for the flower and nursery

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - Handbook and Guidelines Sustainable floriculture is possible

appraising and improving the current methods of certification for floriculture products having added The farms involved in the project were provided with bins for separate collection of waste to quantify
value in terms of quality and sustainability. typology and volume of waste produced. The farms were monitored through surveys and periodic in-
terviews; in this way it was possible to formulate suggestions and strategies for management both at a
The project consists in 8 main actions divided into several sub-actions. business level and at a local/territorial level. Parallel to this, actions for dissemination of the results were
In addition to the action relating to management, monitoring, reporting and auditing of the project, there and are being carried out, as well as activities of technical training.
are some key actions: Ten floriculture farms are involved in the project and due to the variety of their flower and nursery pro-
overall assessment of environmental safety; ductions (foliages, potted and aromatic plants, buttercups, roses and daisies) they are representative of
technical improvement towards sustainability; the Ligurian territory.
technical support for business managers; While the actions of the project were carried out the various operators in the sector could concretely see
guidelines for sustainable management of floriculture; the positive effects that can derive from technological innovations in terms of greater efficiency, labour
technical training. saving and time reduction. Policies were also enacted for environmental protection that often have a
These actions constitute the operational nucleus of the project and involve various floriculture farms in marginal role in the farm management.
the Agricultural Flower and Nursery District of western Liguria (Riviera di Ponente), where
flower growing amounts to the most important quota in the sector at a national level. The project also highlighted some problems typical of Western Liguria:
Lastly, one action deals with communication and diffusion and popularization of the activities carried out difficulty of adaptation to innovations. In agricultural farms where different generations live together,
and the results achieved. introducing new systems creates major distrust. Only concrete experimentation and the results achie-
Overall, the SUMFLOWER project considers 243,500 m2 of agricultural surface used (ASU) of ved can show the real importance of determined procedures of technological development;
which 32,000 m2 in greenhouses, 103,500 m2 in open fields, and 21,000 m2 in pots. On these the economic crisis. This situation affected and affect the overall Italian floriculture sector; specifically,
three productive surfaces the following operations were performed: remote control of irrigation, use of one of the farm adhering to SUMFLOWER , abandoned the field used for automated-irrigation action;
renewable energy sources, composting of organic waste, integrated pest management, controlled use difficulty in the disposal of green waste. To date few administrations have taken specific measures for
of pesticides and fertilizers and monitoring of the sustainability of the productive cycle. The farms invol- the disposal of plant waste. The farms have been instructed with specific directives; they have also
ved in SUMFLOWER (small and medium ones) followed a coordinated and shared plan, which made it been given the material for developing correct separation between the various kinds of waste.
possible to plan actions and the relevant time frame.
A database of local economic activities and interested administrative bodies was created with reference However, the study also highlighted major potentialities of the flower growing and nursery sector in We-
to floriculture and in relation to it, the economic and sustainability indicators were calculated which exa- stern Liguria:
mined the main floriculture activities in the territory. This database made it possible to identify the critical favourable soil and climate conditions;
aspects, regarding both technical-methodological facets and the quality of the data collected in terms strong territorial vocation;
of adequacy to the carrying out of the study. The farms examined were also submitted to an analysis for elevated professional preparation of the employees;
quantifying the resources (natural and human) used. The Energy memory emergy analysis (equi- high qualitative standards of Ligurian local productions, excellence of Italian flower and nursery activity;
valent total solar energy used both directly and indirectly to produce goods or services; Odum 19962), possibility of outlet of the productions on the regional, national and foreign markets.
the Ecological Footprint and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) were carried out, in order to appraise the
sustainability of the whole production chain. SUMFLOWER has thus represented for Western Liguria, particularly for the small and medium farms
Data were also collected in relation to the bio-safety of the flower and nursery sector (pest management involved and for employees in the sector, the first step on a long pathway projected towards compe-
of crops) followed by processing of the indicators for biosafety that will make it possible to appraise the titiveness. The results obtained now make it possible to formulate rather innovative solutions for the
different flower productions, classifying them as virtuous, with low impact or with high impact, on the whole floriculture sector and to affirm that, even at a time of economic recession, it is possible to grow
ba- sis of the production factors employed. To optimize water resources, remote automated irrigation and evolve, keeping the quality of the flower and nursery product high. The technologies applied make
systems directly controlled by growers were installed and configured. These systems will make it pos- it possible, indeed, to reduce the costs, to save time and limit the risks. The union of growers could
sible to optimize the supply of water, reducing the times necessary for the farmer to carry out irrigation. represent a solution to reaffirm oneself on the market and to protect floriculture, particularly the various
Photovoltaic and small wind turbine plants were also installed, to favour self-production of energy used productions of Western Liguria, which many still today recognize to be excellent.
for heating and automatic movement in and out of greenhouses, with appraisal of the saving in energy The results achieved through the pilot farms, together with the complex territorial analysis carried out, are
and economic terms. A nitrate vulnerable zone was identified and the use of fertilizers was evaluated in afterwards processed in a first more theoretical part, represented by the HANDBOOK OF SUSTAINA-
the same area in order to identify good agricultural practices for fertilizing. BLE FLORICULTURE, and in a more concrete part in which some fundamental GOOD AGRICULTU-

Odum HT (1996) Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making, John Wiley.

8 9

SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - HANDBOOK Riviera dei fiori: past and future


Gianni Gentile, Enrico Ilariuzzi, Lara Ficarra
The Riviera di Ponente, known to most people as the Riviera dei Fiori, identifies that part of Liguria that
extends from Ventimiglia to Genoa. Because of the mild climate, the territorial vocation and the traditional
specialization, Ligurian production of potted plants and cut foliages and flowers have for years represen-
ted excellence in national production. This excellence is the result of a history constructed with toil and
knowledge by big hybridizers like Domenico Aicardi, Quinto Mansuino and Ermanno Moro, who created
carnations and roses envied all over the world.
The term flower and nursery activity designates the activities of production and commerce of different
types of plants or their parts, for various uses, in the first place the ornamental one. It therefore includes
highly diversified products from the biological, agronomic and commercial points of view and regarding
final use (Figure 1).
The national surface employed for floriculture is 16,600 hectares (11,000 in the open field, 5,600 in
greenhouses) with about 68.7% of farms, while for nursery activities it is 19,700 hectares with 31.3% of
farms and an overall number of around 100,000 employees.

bulbs, tubers, not in bloom

FLOWER bulbs, tubers, rhizomes in bloom
GROWING whole plants for interior
NURSERY whole plants for outdoors
cut flowers
FLORICULTURE cut flowers prepared buckets
fresh or dry foliage

Figure 1. Classification used in the INEA yearbook to present the data on import and export in the flower and nursery sector.

12 13
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - HANDBOOK Riviera dei fiori: past and future

Liguria flower and nursery farms, a leading sector of the agriculture with about 75% of the regional saleable
gross production, number over 6,100 with around 14,300 employees, while 21,600 people are engaged in WORLD FLOWER MARKET
the whole production chain. In particular, flower growing farms amount to around 3,300 with a surface area
of 2,191 hectares cultivated. For the production of cut flowers, Liguria represents the second national pro-
ducer, with 15.8%, only surpassed by the 27.2% of Campania. The production of the Flower and Nursery
District (western Liguria) constitutes 20% of the national production value, with 5,500 farmers in its territory.
The entrepreneurial abilities of the owners of the Ligurian flower and nursery farms make it possible to make
up partly for the territorial limitations linked to the reduced cultivable surfaces; the elevated quality standards
of local productions make Ligurian production a boast of Italian flower and nursery activity. For this type of
farm the most urgent necessities concern support for business investments and modernization of produc-
tion downstream of the production chain, i.e. aggregation of the offer, valorisation from the commercial point
of view of flower and nursery productions and the promotion of local products in Italy and abroad.

1.1Producers and markets: comparative analysis

of consumptions and profitability in Italy, in Europe
and in the world
A detailed analysis of the flower and nursery sector is fundamental to trying to imagine future scenarios.
Nevertheless, in Italy people have not yet developed the ability to work out such projections, despite their
utility, especially in consideration of the current crisis.
In the last few years we have passed from a century of monopoly, in which productions were mainly
placed in areas with a mild climate in Northern Europe, to a situation of total globalization. At the regio-
nal level this phenomenon arose about 150 years ago when from the Coast of Flowers, thanks to the
Figure 2. World production of flowers (from https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/index.html?pt=PressReleasepage).
climate and the central geographical position in relation to the European picture, flourishing export be-
gan. In the 1930s, with the increase in railway services, the flowers of Sanremo arrived in Great Britain,
in Norway and even in Finland and in Turkey, and this situation of monopoly lasted until the end of the
1960s. One need only think that in the whole province of Imperia more carnations were grown than are
now grown in the whole world. In relation to the increase in consumptions at a national and international in the Middle Eastern area, Israel, both for its very diversified and advanced productions of cut flowers,
level, there then began a gradual delocalization process determined by the search for flat areas and an and for its exports, which have increased by 48% in quantity and 52% in value in the last 4 years,
improvement in cultivation techniques and transports. putting it in the first place among non-European suppliers of flowers to the EU;
Beginning from the 1990s the world flower and nursery market (Figure 2) witnessed the appearance of in the North American area the United States, which has evolved floriculture, although they are also big
some developing countries that exported to the markets of the industrialized ones; among these were importers (2nd place after the EU);
Kenya, Zambia and Uganda, though it must be emphasized that currently the biggest exporters are the in the South American area Colombia, which has recorded the biggest development, thanks to the
following: favourable climatic conditions, to a strong export orientation and to commercial organization on the
in the Asian area China, with a production, in 2008, of over 10 billion flowering stems, 2.2 billion fo- Dutch model. It is the worlds second exporter of cut flowers, after Holland. The 430 local farms em-
liages and 2 million potted plants, has an export of ornamental plants that in 2008 was equivalent to ploy 140,000 people, 70,000 of them in flower growing farms. The most important productions are
around 40 million euro (HY Consultancy 20103). The surfaces devoted to ornamental plants in 2006 carnations (46%) and roses (27%); the main export markets are the USA (77%) and the EU (14%);
amounted to over 722 million hectares (three times as much as in 2000) and produced over 40 billion in the African area Kenya, the biggest producer of cut flowers (especially carnations and roses), which
pieces for a value of over 4 million euro (NABSO kunming 20084). In this sector 1.3 million workers mainly exports to Europe, is in fact in the second place, after Israel, as a non-European supplier.
were employed, though only 6,000 farms were structured with more than 3 hectares; in the last few In the world the extension of the surfaces employed in flower and nursery activity is estimated to be about
years the sector has seen a reduction in plants in open field and a major development of protected 650,000 hectares, of which 300,000 for cut flowers. World production amounted in 2011 to 26.5 million
plants (slope Flower Association 20055; NABSO Kunming 20084); euro, 44% of which in the European Union (Figure 3, AIPH6). In Europe the flows of the biggest imports
come from Holland (Figure 2, 4), which represents the principal collector in exchanges. It must be stres-
sed, however, that Italy and Germany too have leading positions. Holland absorbs more than 50% of
European imports of flowers, but it also represents 60% of world exports. This mainly happens through the

HY Consultancy (2010) Survey on Flower Retail in China. Pp. 42. Commissioned by NABSO Kunming. 6
From International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH)
NABSO Kunming Market study floricultural sector Greater China, Vietnam and Thailand Headventure October 2008 pp. 103.
China Flower Association 2005.

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - HANDBOOK Riviera dei fiori: past and future

Country Area 2011* share

EU 11,699 44.1 % BE 3%
USA 3,115 11.8 %
China 3,406 12.9 %
UK 5%
Japan 2,512 9.5 % NL 33%
Colombia 1,104 4.2 %
Canada 657 2.5 %
ES 11%
S. Korea 598 2.3 %
Brazil 454 1.7 %
Ecuador 450 1.7 %
Kenya 344 1.3 % FR 12%
Others 2,161 8.2 %
TOTAL 26,500 100.0 %
* or most recent available year
Figure 3. World production of potted flowers and plants in 2011, in millions of euro (source: AIPH/Union Fleurs - Inter-
national Floricultural Trade Association7). IT 13%
DE 12%
auctions that take place in the country (out of a total of 15 in the whole continent) and, controlling 34% of
the EU market, they heavily influence the formation of prices.
Today Italian production has the negative connotation of the small size of the farms, which rarely exceed 1 Figure 4. Production of flowers and plants in the EU (member states) in 2011, based on current production values and prices
hectare for flower growing and 2 hectares for nursery activity. The sector of foliages, in bloom, with fruit and (source: EUROSTAT).
leaves has felt the effect of globalization less. Also as regards the production of potted plants the sector
has not felt to a great extent the widening of exchanges on an international scale, although the increase in
the offer has led to a weakening of the bargaining power of the farms.
In addition to the climatic conditions, in recent times another element has strongly conditioned prices: the
cost of manpower, which inevitably affects the end product, at times even to the detriment of quality. It 1.2New technologies in the farm: increasing
is interesting to notice that, since we are not talking about primary goods, the consumption of flowers is
closely correlated with the gross domestic product per capita. Decreases and increases are often linked
productivity, reducing costs and risks and keeping
to cultural factors that condition consumers habits. This means that the possibilities of an increase in the quality high
market for flower and nursery products are linked to the increase in the GDP per capita, and in countries
with consolidated habits, to the increase in the impulse market. All this makes it possible to hypothesize From the preceding description it is clear that to be able to update farms in Western Liguria and make
that an improvement of the economic conditions could lead to positive sale and consumption trends, but them competitive on the market it is fundamental to make technological innovations.
that actions aiming at innovation of the product and optimization of productive processes are at any rate The search for new technologies makes it possible to:
necessary. lengthen the period of production; it is in fact difficult to have success with articles that stay in produc-
tion no more than 3/5 months;
increase the yield per surface unit, consequently reducing production costs; it is not by chance that
Italy, the first manufacturing country in Europe for cultivated surface, is surpassed by Holland in real
production thanks to a better yield;
reduce the risks connected to climate without squandering the peculiarity of the crop in open fields
with antifreeze products or mobile covers with rapid extension.

European Commission. UnitC.2ofDGAGRI. 2012 - Working document Advisory Group flowers and ornamental plants 70 pp.

16 17


Enrico Farina, Carla Dalla Guda, Caterina Allera
Water scarcity already affects every continent. Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of
the worlds population, live in areas of physical scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching
this situation. Another 1.6 billion people, or almost one quarter of the worlds population, face
economic water shortage (where countries lack the necessary infrastructure to take water from
rivers and aquifers). 8

These were the opening words that justified the Action Water for Life, 2005-2015 sponsored by the
United Nations and FAO. According to the estimates of this organization, Europe, already in 2008, was
in a stage of pre-vulnerability from the point of view of the amount of water available for each person
(excluding recovered water) and, indeed, some of the regions of North-Central Europe were already at
the vulnerability stage. The causes could be traced to climatic conditions and their ongoing changes,
lifestyles, high consumption in agriculture and industry, according to typical modulations in importance
typical of specific geographic areas. In any case, both for pre-vulnerability and vulnerability situations, the
need was evident to rationalize the use of the water resource.
Water is the most critical and limited resource on the planet and is inseparable from agriculture, which
consumes 70% of the water taken worldwide from rivers, lakes and groundwater.
The gap between water supply and demand is increasing in many parts of the world: increasing drought
will be the major constraint on growth and agricultural development. In Europe, especially in southern
and central areas, it is expected that the availability of water will diminish more and more, due to a con-
tinual decrease in summer precipitation and the presence of a high water demand for crops.
In Italy, according to data published by ISTAT in 2007, the area currently irrigated (more than 2.7 million
hectares) out of the whole irrigable surface (slightly less than 4 million hectares) was 65.8%, an increase
of just over 2 percent compared to the previous survey in 2000. According to the latter ISTAT survey
the irrigation method most commonly used is distribution or rain (a little less than 1 million hectares, or
36.2% of the total irrigated surface), followed by flow and lateral infiltration (over 815,000 hectares, 30%),
drip systems and micro-irrigation (about 570 thousand hectares, 21%) and submersion (243 thousand
acres, 9%). Among these modes, the most efficient are certainly micro-irrigation and drip, reaching levels

UNDESA: International decade Water for life 2005 -2015.

18 19
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - HANDBOOK Energy from renewable sources: sun and wind

Submersion 9%

Micro-irrigation 21%

Sprinkle 40%

Flow and lateral

infiltration 30%


Giovanni Minuto, Federico Tinivella
Figure 5. The irrigation methods used in Italy (Source: ISTAT - Agricultural Census 2000).

3.1 Photovoltaic (PV)

of efficiency of up to 90%, while those for distribution are characterized by lower values, which only in 3.1.1. ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION IN AGRICULTURE
the most efficient cases reach 70-80%. In agriculture, electricity consumption concerns different classes of applications.
The lowest efficiencies are obtained with the flow and lateral infiltration system (up to 60%) and submer- As an example we list the consumption of an ideal farm that produces flowers or vegetables in a pro-
sion (up to 25%) (Figure 5). tected environment:
It is evident that in the agricultural sector a serious policy of efficiency, economy and protection of water motors for opening and closing the vents of the greenhouses
resources should be applied, not only for environmental reasons but also to preserve a resource that is handling of mobile benches
so precious to agriculture itself. To do this it is necessary to focus on the most innovative technologies compressor (operating system applied to mobile benches)
of irrigation and abandon obsolete irrigation methods that use much more water than is actually needed, lighting of working areas
but also to look for innovative ways to irrigate according to actual needs. This is the orientation of the supplementary lighting (for plants)
Water Action in the SUMFLOWER project, which will be described in the GUIDELINES. power source of control panels connected to automatic devices
This action was aimed to lead farmers to practise irrigation that was both efficient and effective. Some of the consumptions mentioned are very limited, while others are far more important and can
It should also be considered that the high quality of the ornamental product does not allow the use of involve very significant expense.
controlled water stress criteria as products with minimal defects can be virtually unmarketable.
Positive results of a test carried out on ornamental productions are therefore of great significance with
regard to a transfer of technology to other plant sectors. 3.1.2 INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITIONS
Power coming from the sun to the Earth, measured at the limit of the atmosphere, is equal to 1367
W/m2. Solar energy can be used for producing electricity or heat. Heat is usable either directly or for
production of electric energy through generators like vapour turbines, stirling cycles, etc.
The main technologies for turning the suns energy into usable energy are:
thermal panels that exploit solar radiation to heat a liquid they contain, which in turn, through a heat
exchanger, yields heat to the water, usually used for hygienic and sanitary purposes;
concentration systems that through parabolic mirrors concentrate the solar rays on a receiving pipe
in which there flows a heat-bearing fluid or on a series of flat mirrors that concentrate the rays at the
extremity of a tower in which there is a boiler;

20 21
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - HANDBOOK Energy from renewable sources: sun and wind

photovoltaic modules that, exploiting the properties of particular elements (semiconductors), directly recycling discarded electronic components, so-called silicon scraps that are melted down to obtain a
produce electric energy. compact crystalline composition. These silicon scraps are melted in a crucible so as to create a homoge-
In the photovoltaic sector it is necessary to make things clear on the quality and performances of the neous mixture, and then cooled in such a way as to produce crystallization that develops vertically. This gi-
materials currently on sale, to give concrete answers to the demand for explanations on contracts and ves a loaf of around 150-200 kg that is then vertically cut into ingots with the form of a parallelepiped. With
plant problems and support farms in the difficult choice of the best project and the best economic offer. another horizontal cut, plates are obtained with a thickness similar to that of the single-crystal wafer. In this
Advantages of photovoltaic: case too the wafers are cleaned with a soda attack, and then drugged with phosphorus for the creation
absence of polluting emissions; of the P-N junctions; a thin non-reflecting layer is finally applied and serigraphy or electrodeposition is used
saving of fossil fuels; to create the front electric contact (metal grid) and the back electric contact (continuous metallic surface).
extreme reliability due to the absence of moving parts (working life superior to 25 years);
reduced maintenance costs; Thin film panels
modularity of the system (to increase the size you simply have to increase the number of modules). amorphous silicon (a-Si),
microspheric silicon mounted on flexible panel,
cadmium telluride (CdTe),
3.1.3 CHOICE OF PHOTOVOLTAIC MATERIALS cadmium sulphide (CdS),
The construction of a photovoltaic plant starts from the choice of the photovoltaic materials. Photovoltaic gallium arsenide (GaAs),
modules, as mentioned, directly convert solar radiation into electric energy. These components exploit copper indium diselenide (CIS),
the photoelectric effect and have a conversion efficiency that in the laboratory can be as high as 32.5%. copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) (Figure 6)
In practice, once the cells are assembled in modules, the average efficiency is reduced, for modules in
crystalline silicon, to values of around 14%. Photovoltaic modules, having no moving parts, need little These panels are generally less widespread.
maintenance; periodic cleaning of the surfaces is usually enough. The life of the modules is estimated
to be over 30 years. The principal defects linked to the plant are the elevated cost and the difficulty of
storing the energy produced. Photovoltaic plants are generally divided into two big groups:
standalone power plants. This family identifies isolated electricity users not connected to any distri-
bution grid;
grid-connected power plants in an existing distribution grid managed by a third party. This
typology identifies electricity users already served by a distribution grid putting into the grid the energy
produced by the photovoltaic plant, appropriately converted into alternating current; in practice the
grid is used as an accumulation system. Choice of photovoltaic material

Among the many materials usable for the construction of photovoltaic modules, silicon is absolutely the
most used. The commonest realization technologies are those that lead to the realization of Crystalline
modules and Thin film modules. Crystalline modules

Single-crystal silicon, in which every cell is realized starting from a wafer whose crystalline structure
is homogeneous (monocrystalline), appropriately drugged to create a positive-negative (P-N) junction.
The cells in single-crystal silicon have a higher degree of purity than multi-crystal cells and greater ef-
ficiency, which goes from 14 to 17%; for this reason they are more expensive. Generally the cells are
circular, with a diameter of 10-12 cm, or octagonal, and have a thickness of 0.2-0.3 mm; they are dark
blue in colour and uniform. Their reliability is guaranteed by the manufacturing farms for over 25 years,
though their average life can exceed 30 years. The main applications concern standalone plants,
particularly in not very favourable climatic conditions, in that the cells present elevated efficiency with
a small capturing surface.

Polycrystalline silicon, in which the wafer is not structurally homogeneous, but organized in locally or-
Figure 6. Panels in semitransparent CIS (Copper indium diselenide) installed on the roof of an experimental greenhouse at
dered grains. The efficiency of cells in polycrystalline silicon is between 12 and 14%. They are made by CeRSAA, Albenga.

22 23
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - HANDBOOK Energy from renewable sources: sun and wind


Si mono Si poly Si amorphous GaAs CIS
From the point of view of the increase in Gross saleable Agri- Double attitude
Variable cultural Production (PLV Produzione Lorda Vendibile), the re- PV cells
Cell side
8-10 cm 12-15 cm (commercial Variable Variable sult obtained with the contribution of photovoltaic appears must be designed bearing
standard 30 cm) very interesting, even though it is necessary to appraise in mind the ideal
Cell thickness 250-350 mm 250-350 mm a few mm 5-10 mm 5-10 mm this increase in the light of the costs of purchase, instal- and specific light needs
14-17 % 10-14 % lation and connection to the grid. Keeping in mind the of each crop to guarantee
4-6 % single
Cell yield (since 2009 > (since 2009 >
7-10 % tandem
25% 8-12 % constant reduction in the costs of photovoltaic plants the maximum
18%) 16%) and the major diversity of the materials and plant so- production capacity
Lower cost Good yield in
High High resistance lutions, the preference is to postpone the compari-
simpler case of diffused
performance to temperatures Very stable son with the costs to cases re- alistically enactable.
manufacture radiation
Advantages stability suited to usable on flexible Nevertheless, it must be signal- led that currently the
Better suited to flexible
Reliable aeronautic substrates
occupation of supports payback, i.e. the time of return of the investment desti-
technology applications
space ned only for the photovoltaic plant, for most installations,
Cost Grey is between 7 and 10 years. It is therefore necessary, on one
Low overall yield
energy Toxicity side, to make a suitable financial plan, and on the other to consider that cultivations, all the environ-
Lower yield Initial decline of
High quantity of Poor availability Disposal at mental, nutritional and plant health parameters being equal, express their maximum productive ca-
Disadvantages sensitivity to performance
material required of materials career end
Complexity of
impurities Poor stability over
Very high costs
pacities in the ideal and specific light conditions for each of them. In this connection, for vegetables,
the years flowers and fruit in a protected envi- ronment, often precise and univocal data are not available about
the minimum light needs sufficient to guarantee the maximum productive expression for each variety.
AVERAGE 5.7 4.8
6.9 When available, such data often refer to environmental conditions not coinciding with those of the area
COSTS (since 2009 (since 2009 7.6 NA
(from 2009 <4.5) in which a person intends to start production, and have not been obtained under conditions compa-
[/kWp] <4.0) <2.5)
rable to those of the project. specifically, the light conditions should be evaluated keeping in mind that
on the coverage of the greenhouses panels will be placed that are totally or partially opaque to bright
Table 1. Principal characteristics of some photovoltaic materials. 9 Legend: Si, silicon; GaAs, gallium arsenide; CIS,
radiation, able to project to earth extended shade cones; this effect can be amplified by the creation
copper indium diselenide.
of greenhouses in a battery, characterized by an elevated number of spans, where the entrance of
There follows a description of the most interesting materials for potential applications, including in the the light from the free side walls and the circulation of air is strongly limited. From these considerations
agricultural sphere; their principal characteristics are summed up in Table 1. it emerges that, as against potentially interesting economic advantages, deriving from the realization
of photovoltaic greenhouses with a double attitude, careful planning is necessary that keeps in mind Gallium arsenide (GaAs) the data relating to testing of the greenhouses, the density and placing of the photovoltaic cells and
GaAs technology is currently the most interesting from the point of view of the efficiency obtained, their interference with the ventilation apertures, in the case, above all, of very extensive greenhouse
superior to 25-30%, but the production of these cells is limited by high costs and shortage of material. plants. It appears necessary to collect the available data in literature about the applications of light of
The results obtained with GaAs cells give 30% higher conversion efficiency. It is believed that further species cultivable in a greenhouse and to produce new ones, when they are absent or uncertified.
progress will soon be possible, such as to allow attainment of the 40% threshold. Finally, it could be necessary not to rely only on previsional models or simulators for calculation on the
soil of the shades partially projected by coverings opaque to light, also creating simulators in the field, Cadmium telluride (CdTe) / Cadmium suphide (CTS) able to provide realistic data (e.g. Table 2).
Differently from the technology with hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-si:H), the CTs cell succeeds
in giving greater efficiencies: 8-10% for industrial products (15.8% in the laboratory). One of the pro-
blems listed for large-scale production of CTS technology is the cadmium contained in the cell, since
The trends in the photovoltaic sector are directed towards improvement of the performances both of
this metal can become an environmental problem if not correctly recycled or used.
photovoltaic units (panels), and of plants as a whole (set of panels, cables, inverters, energy transport
plant). specifically, the following possible developments can be envisioned: Copper indium diselenide (CIS) / Copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS)
increase in the efficiency of photovoltaic modules
Differently from the technology with hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), the CTs cell succeeds
increase in the average life of modules and plants
in giving greater efficiencies: 8-10% for industrial products (15.8% in the laboratory). One of the pro-
maturation of production technologies
blems listed for large-scale production of CTs technology is the cadmium contained in the cell since
decrease in prices.
this metal can become an environmental problem if not correctly recycled or used.

La tecnologia fotovoltaica: stato dellarte e potenzialit di impiego nei processi produttivi. Raffaella Gelleti, CETA - Centro di Ecologia Teorica ed Applicata.

24 25
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - HANDBOOK Energy from renewable sources: sun and wind

Cultivation Productivity (%) in
Crop KW h/year KW h/year productivity
environment (/m2)* agricultural
greenhouse cyclamen 18.0 3,456.5 15.71 25.09 39.4

greenhouse tomato 20.0 3,456.5 15.71 27.09 35.4

greenhouse basil 48.0 3,456.5 15.71 55.09 14.8

Cultivation Productivity (%) in
Crop KW h/year KW h/year productivity
environment (/m2)* agricultural
greenhouse cyclamen 18.0 - - 18.0 0.0

greenhouse tomato 20.0 - - 20.0 0.0

greenhouse basil 48.0 - - 48.0 0.0
* Colla, 1995 **greenhouse surface: 220 m ; incentive rate: 0.451 /KWh

Table 2. Estimation of PLV (gross saleable production) in photovoltaic greenhouses related to different species grown at

Figure 7. Wind generators, small wind farm.

Through this innovative process, public contributions and the consequent diffusion of products, grid
parity can presumably be attained within a few years.


Italy is in the third place in Europe and sixth in the world for installed power plants with 6878 MW. In
3.2 Wind Energy 2011 the installed power grew by 1080 MW and the electric energy produced by wind was around
10,000 GWh, corresponding to about 3% of the electric energy consumed. In 2011 the wind sector in
Wind is one of the renewable energy sources. It is a movement of air produced by convective motions of Italy witnessed the installation of 590 new medium and large turbines, with a turnover of about 1.8 million
large masses of warm and cold air. The former have the tendency to rise, because they are less he- avy; euro (www.economy2050.it, September 2012). Specifically, Italian industrial production was particularly
the latter, instead, are heavier, and go downwards creating air movements. lively in the segment of small wind farms. As regards the research sector the following thematic areas of
Wind is found in Italy, but it is still not very much exploited in comparison to its full potentialities. Not all greater interest can be identified:
places on the planet are suited to the installation of wind farms: because of the irregularity of the winds in detailed identification of suitable sites for the installation of wind turbines, through anemometric sur-
certain regions, or their weakness, considering that to be exploitable they have to blow at a speed of not veys and production of maps of windiness combined with the irradiation of the sites;
less than 4 m/sec and for at least hundred days a year. In Italy the area judged interesting for possible technological improvements aiming to increase the efficiency of the machines and the plants, in rela-
installations are the following: the Apennine ridge, the coastal strips of the southern regions, the islands tion to the different wind regimes and the particularity of the application;
of the lower Tyrrhenian, and Pantelleria. study of ways to reduce the cost of plants, without neglecting their impact, both acoustic and visual;
Wind energy is used to produce kinetic energy (energy of movement), with which electric energy is pro- search for materials that are more resistant to wear and maximum stress.
duced thanks to air movement stations. They are formed by a rotor and an alternator that turns the kine-
tic energy into electric energy. The kinetic energy possessed by the wind (mass of air in movement from
an area of high pressure towards another low pressure one) can be used directly, e.g. in sailing, but also
to start the blades of a mill, or be converted into mechanical work or into electric energy on wind farms.

26 27


The expression distributed generation generally designates small plants for production of electric ener-
gy, isolated or interconnected, situated where the end user is (farms, factories, public offices, districts,
private residences) or in the immediate proximity. In an area where the environmental conditions are
favourable, the production plant can be a small wind farm (Figure 7).
The advantages of distributed generation of energy are manifold and will now be indicated.
Distribution of the resource to the detriment of monopolies.
Possibility of large-scale exploitation of renewable energy sources (including wind energy),reducing
polluting emissions.
Smaller losses through transmission and distribution (in total they represent 9.5% of energy generation
in the whole world, ref. for year 1999).
Greater power quality (smaller fluctuations, fewer interruptions): a very important advantage for the
internet, where the transmission nodes require great reliabilities, without which there can be major

economic damage.
Reduced vulnerability of the electric system, that is to say less likelihood of power cuts.
Good solutions for the electrification of remote areas. THE IMPACTS OF
Reduced dependence on importations of fossil sources.
Giovanni Minuto, Patrizia Martini, Marco Odasso, Chiara Paoli, Stefano Rapetti, Laura Repetto, Enrica Roccotiello, Federico Tinivella,
Paolo Vassallo, Mauro G. Mariotti

4.1 The contamination of environmental sectors:

References nitrates G. Minuto, F. Tinivella

AAVV. (2011) sotto la soglia delleuro. I prezzi in diminuzione dei moduli cristallini infrangono la quota In Liguria, and particularly in the area of Albenga, pot cultivation of ornamentals and so-called aro-
psicologica di un euro per watt. Photon IT 2011-07, 152. matic or ornamental Mediterranean plants is nowadays widespread. Cultivation of the latter has
reached very elevated productions that, according to recent estimates, surpassed 60 million pots in
Danny H.W. Li, Tony N.T. Lam, Wilco W.H. Chan and Ada H.L. Mak (2009). Energy and cost analysis
2010 (data by CCIAA Savona).
of semi-transparent photovoltaic in office buildings. Applied Energy, 86, 722-729.
Eurostat. Agriculture Database (09-2011). http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/agricul
Kozai, T.; He DongXian; Ohtsuka, H.; kamiya, I. (1999). Simulation of solar radiation transmission into a Due to the reduced unit value of aromatic or Mediterranean crops, it is not economically possible to
lean-to greenhouse with photovoltaic cells on the roof. Case study for a greenhouse with infinite longi- employ sophisticated irrigation plant or fertigation systems. Hence irrigation and fertilization are carried
tudinal length. Environment Control in Biology, 37, 2, 101-108. out in most cases with the employment of sprinkle distribution systems (distribution plant, Figure 8).

Minuto G., Tinivella F., Dani E., Gimelli F. E Minuto A. (2010). Serre fotovoltaiche a duplice attitudine.
Colture Protette 39 (9), 70 77. 4.1.2 THE EFFICIENCY OF FERTIGATION SYSTEMS
With the employment of such systems, the efficiency of fertigation proves to be greatly reduced, with
Minuto Giovanni (2010). Sia serra fotovoltaica che ombraio. Colture Protette 39 (7/8) 85.
losses of water and nourishing elements often superior to 50%, with consequent dispersion in the envi-
Parker, B. F. (1991). Solar energy in agriculture. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 462 pp. ronment. The low efficiency of distribution fertigation systems is linked to the following:
Stanghellini C. E Heuvelink Ep. (2007). Coltura e clima: effetto microclimatico dellambiente serra. Italus density of cultivation;
Hortus 14 (1), 37 49. distance between pots;
Stanhill G. (1992). Solar energy in agriculture. B.F. Parker (Editor), Energy in World Agriculture, Vol. 4, volume of pots;
Elsevier, Amsterdam. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 38, 352-353. level of filling of pots (normally performed with the cultivation soil up to the upper edge of the containers
Yano, A.; Tsuchiya, K.; Nishi, K.; Moriyama, T.; Ide, O.; Toya, M. (2005). Development of a photovoltaic
frequent manifestation of phenomena of water-repellence on the surface of peat substrates exposed
panel as a power source for greenhouse environment control devices and a study on its mounting in a
to the air;
greenhouse. Journal of the Japanese society of Agricultural Machinery, 67, 5, 124-127.

28 29

ning of the growth of the crop represented an important step ahead for those crops where, for technical
reasons, additional fertilization proved to be not very practical or too expensive. This condition still today
applies to many plants raised in containers.
These types of fertilizer, developed and improved in time, today are able to release constant doses of all
the constituent elements at preset temperatures. such fertilizers are formulated to contain, in proportions
adequate to different crops and uses, all the important elements for nutrition of plants. The end product
is granular and every granule is wrapped in a permeable organic membrane of resin and vegetable
oil. Through this membrane, water vapour penetrates into the granule and dissolves the nourishing
elements. With osmotic pressure, the nourishing elements are pushed towards the outside. The resin
layer, solely under the influence of temperature (Table 3), establishes the daily release of the nourishing
elements. The rate of salinity of the soil, the pH, the quantity of irrigation water or microbiological activity
have no significant influence on release times.

Theoretical period of duration Duration (months) at different environmental

(label indication) temperatures
16C 21C 26C
3-4 months 4-5 3-4 2-3
5-6 months 6-7 5-6 3-4
8-9 months 10-11 8-9 6-7
12-14 months 15-18 12-14 9-11

Table 3. Influence of temperatures on average duration of controlled release fertilizers (CeRSAA tests, unpublished data). Slow-release fertilizers

Slow-release fertilizers too (Figure 9) are fertilizers formulated so as to contain, in adequate proportions
to different crops and uses, all the important elements for nutrition of plants. In this case, the nitrogen
Figure 8. Cultivation of Argyranthemum sp.in a greenhouse (Albenga plain).
is the element that is gradually released, since the combination between its different modules always
presence of meteoric phenomena (particularly wind) that, in addition to preventing homogeneous and makes this element available.
regular bathing of containers, disperse water and nourishing elements in areas in which the crop is not The quantity of nitrogen released depends on the growth and is determined by microbiological activity,
present. by temperature and by the degree of humidity of the substrate. Nitrogen transfer normally occurs starting
from 5C and gradually increases up to 30-35C; above the latter values, it decreases. The duration of
these products is variable and many of those on sale do not exceed 12-16 weeks.
Localized fertilization with controlled release slow release fertilizers requires greater initial investment, Fertilizers containing nitrification inhibitors
because of the cost of the fertilizers and the necessary labour, but allows better and more economic An important tool to influence the availability of non-nitric nitrogen, and that is to say the biochemical
ma- nagement of fertilization in the subsequent cultivation phases, greatly reducing the dispersion of transformations that happen in the soil, is that which acts with appropriate chemical substances on
mineral elements in the environment and particularly of nitrogen, an element employed in a very large the enzymes and/or bacteria that, as the final result of the process, cause the formation of nitrate ions.
quantity for growing aromatic species. The best-known substances and the ones most experimented on at an agronomic level are those that
cause slow transformation of the ammonium ion into a nitric ion. These substances are called nitrifi-
4.1.4 FERTILIZERS AND FERTILIZATION TECHNIQUES COMPARED cation inhibitors. Currently available are products formulated with the addition of calibrated quantities
of dicyan- diamide (dcd) or of 3.4 dimethylpirazolophosphate. Controlled release fertilizers
These fertilizers have been available for over thirty years. They were first designed to act as a complete Water-soluble fertilizers
fertilization system. The possibility of already supplying the necessary nourishing elements at the begin- Water-soluble fertilizers are fertilizers endowed, depending on the formulations and the intended use,
with the macro-elements and micro-elements necessary to the development of plants. These products

30 31


The agronomic use of manure and the materials assimilated to it, as well as of nitrogenous fertilizers and
organic amenders, as defined by the Legislative Decree 29 April 2006, no. 217:
a) at a distance of less than 25 metres from the start of the shore for lake waters or sea-coastlines and
ransition waters, as well as from buildings in wetlands as defined in the 02/02/1971 Ramsar Con-
b) at a distance of less than 10 metres from the banks of rivers, unless otherwise specified in a more
restrictive sense by the instruments of territorial planning or by laws or regulations;
c) at a distance of less than 5 metres from the banks of streams, unless otherwise specified in a more
restrictive sense by the instruments of territorial planning or by laws or regulations;
d) on surfaces not affected by agricultural activity, except for areas of public and private green and for
A B areas subject to recovery and environmental restoration;
e) in woods, except for effluents released by animals
f) on soils that are frozen, snow-covered, with an emerging water-bearing stratum, with ongoing landsli-
des or soils saturated with water, except for soils used for crops requiring submersion;
g) in all situations in which the competent authority provides to issue specific provisions of prohibition or
prescription for the prevention of illnesses that are infectious, infesting and diffusive for animals and
man, and for the defence of water stretches.

The dispositions at letters a and b do not apply to artificial channels exclusively used by one or
more farms, provided that they are not connected to rivers, and to embanked channels. The agro-
nomic use of nitrogenous fertilizers and organic repairers is forbidden on soil that is snow-covered,
saturated with water, with an emerging water-bearing stratum or with ongoing landslides and in the 24
hours preceding irrigation in the case of flow irrigation for fertilizers not put under the earth. The use of
C D fertigation with the flow method is also forbidden.
In the prohibition referred to at letters a and b, where possible, a spontaneous permanent vege-
Figure 9. A. micro-photograph of granules of controlled-transfer fertilizer, B. Potting machine (detail of the loader of the table covering is also recommended, as well as the constitution of hedges and/or of other wooded
cultivation substrate), C. Granules of controlled-transfer fertilizer, D. Granule of controlled-transfer fertilizer carefully surfaces.
opened (Photo: CeRSAA).
Soilless or hydroponic open-cycle cultivation systems, i.e. ones without recovery and reuse of the
are diluted or solubilized in water and distributed to the plants through micro-flow or drip distribution, draining solution, are forbidden. Spring-summer monoculture of herbaceous species that are not
or through the use of sprinklers. This system of distribution proves to be the least suited for fertilization vegetables cannot continue for more than two consecutive crop seasons except for cover crops put
of pots, though widely used for all those crops whose unit value is so low as to make the use of more in place every year in the autumn-winter period. The distribution in the field of fertilizers containing
sophisticated distribution systems uneconomic. nitrogen, organic and inor- ganic, is also forbidden in the cases contemplated by Table 13 in relation
to the period and the crop. Organic fertilizers
Many of the organic fertilizers used in floriculture are liquid and distributed with modalities analogous to Compulsory measures
what was said above regarding water-soluble fertilizers. In this case, such fertilizers have an extremely In general terms some indications can be provided regarding the maximum unit quantity of nitrogen to
limited content of nourishing elements, so in common agricultural practice double or triple dosing is be given with fertilizers, both organic and mineral, applicable to areas used for agriculture. Table 4 indi-
employed in comparison to those indicate. Further, the prevailing element is nitrogen, while phosphorus, cates the limits of nitrogen input not to be exceeded in relation to the type of crop.
potassium and other microelements are present in limited or absent doses. Horn-hoof mixture

It is a natural fertilizer of animal origin, characterized by capacity for very slow release depending on the
size (fragmentation of the residues of animal hoofs and horns), on the action of the microflora in the soil
and on the temperature of the substrate. This product essentially puts in nitrogen and is emplo- yed for
basic fertilization in pots and in open fields. Normally, in organic agriculture, it is associated with the use
of organic fertilizers.

32 33

Other herbaceous plants

Vegetables and trees
Maximum nitrogen Maximum nitrogen
Crop quantity Crop quantity
(kg/hectare/year) (kg/hectare/year)
Cauliflower 210 (65) Grain corn 240 (78)
Fennel 240 (80)
Cabbage 240 (75)
Spinach 120 (80)
Garlic 145 (50)
Onion 120 (35)
Cucumber (protected cultivation) 205
Melon 145 (95)
Courgette (open field) 160 (60)
Courgette (protected cultivation) 240 (75)
Lettuce (open field) 95 (60)
Lettuce (summer protected cultivation) 160 (65)
Bean 35 (35)
Green bean 35 (35)
Pea 35 (35)
Carrot 240 (155) Fruit and vine
Celery 225 (75) Cherry 120
Strawberry 115 Plum tree 120
Tomato (protected cultivation) (2) 300 Apple tree 95
Tomato (open field) (2) 150 Peach tree 160
Industrial tomato (2) 150 Pear tree 95
Pepper (protected cultivation) 260 (85) Apricot tree 135 Figure 10. Nitrate Vulnerable Zone in the province of Savona (ARPAL, 2003).
Pepper (full field) 190 (60) Actinidia 140
Eggplant (protected cultivation) 240 (75) Vine 65
Eggplant (open field) 180 (60) Vine in non-grassy area 65
Potato 180 (60) Hazelnut 100
Garden beetroot 280 (180) Walnut-tree 80
type of farms present, of the practices of cultivation adopted and of the type of environmental problems
Hilside beetroot 140 (50) Olive 70
Basil 140 identified.
Watermelon 130 (45) If the farms soils lie, even partially, in the zone designated as vulnerable, the farmers must:
Artichoke 140 keep a farms register including a storage card and record all crop operations using the model reco-
Asparagus (from the third year) 150 gnized by the Liguria region and in the first application conforming to that already contemplated for
adhesion to the agricultural and environmental measures of the Rural Development Plan;
Table 4. Maximum limits of nitrogenous nutrients (kg/hectare/year) admitted for some crops (cultivation not in pot). 10 compile an annual fertilization plan, a document that, in relation to the characteristics of the soil, the
climate, the planned crops and the expected production, determines quantity, times, typology of fer-
tilization and modalities of distribution of fertilizers, both mineral and organic, including sewages, with
particular reference to nitrogenous fertilizers.

4.1.6 NITRATE VULNERABLE ZONE (NVZ) The fertilization plan and the farms register must be preserved and made available to the competent
The zone identified by Regional Junta Deliberation 1256 of 24 November 2004 as vulnerable to nitrates authority for checking. Unless there are more restrictive measures on single crops, input is not admitted
of agricultural origin is situated in the Plain of Albenga (savona province), and from the administrative at one time above 10 g/m2 (100 kg/hectare) of nitrogen for herbaceous, horticultural and flower crops
point of view includes a part of the territory of the municipalities of Albenga, Ceriale and Cisano sul Neva, and 6 g/m2 (60 kg/hectare) for trees.
for a general surface area of around 1,325 hectares (Figure 10).
All the plain has a strong vocation for intensive vegetable and flower growing; the main cultivations Recommended measures
concern aromatic plants, flowers in pots and, on a smaller surface, typical quality horticultural species. For vegetables and ornamental plants in pots in open fields the use is recommended of fertilizers con-
Inside this zone restrictive measures are applied in consideration of the particular conformation, of the taining slow release and controlled release nitrogen to be directly incorporated in the substrate during

Liguria region Department for Agriculture and Civil Defence. Plan of action for nitrate vulnerable zones to of agricultural origin (Directive 91/676/CE and

Decree Law 152/99 BURL 28 of 12 July 2006.

34 35

preparation or through localized distribution in pots in the case of subsequent applications. Measures applicable for the production of aromatic species in pots
Fertigation by sprinkling on vegetables and ornamental plants in pots in open fields is strongly dissuaded, On the basis of the results obtained in the project and on the basis of the available literature, it seems
while distribution is recommended through microirrigation in pots or other systems that limit dispersion of possible to affirm that the adoption of techniques like fertigation by sprinkling, though favouring good
water and nitrogenous fertilizers. development of aromatic crops, can favour elevated dispersion of mineral elements in the environ-
In the case of cultivations in pots in open fields, possible enrichment by sprinkling must be limited to a few ment. Replacing this practice with others, including those that contemplate mixing in the crop substra-
actions (maximum 5 for year) in the last part of the crop cycle. In the case of cultivations in pots, in the open te mineral fertilizers with controlled transfer covered either with organic synthesis or organics allowed
field too, the use is recommended of multilayer covers with absorbent felt to be placed on the levelled soil in organic agriculture reduces this dispersion. Nevertheless, on the basis of the results obtained and
on which to stand the pots: this typology of cover allows major irrigation savings and avoids dispersions the dosing adopted, the use of controlled release fertilizers does not always make it possible to get re-
of nutrients in the soil. sults comparable with the distribution of fertilizers effected through fertigation. Mixing of natural hoofs
For crops cultivated in soil, both in open field and greenhouse, analysis of soil according to physical and and horns with the crop substrate and subsequent fertigation also with fertilizers allowed in biological
chemical parameters based on law prescriptions and official methods, represents a key tool to set up a agriculture has appeared to be a technique able to favour good development of plants, especially
suitable fertilization plan. in the final phases of cultivation. A first evaluation of costs connected to the adoption of the different
It is important to make an analysis of the irrigation water in order to consider, in fertilization plans, the nitro- techniques of fertilization has not shown up particular differences, though the cost of treatments effec-
gen contribution from the water itself. ted with products admitted in organic agriculture has appeared to be high. This greater cost, certainly,
For greenhouse cultivation all technical solutions are recommended that aim at reducing the irrigation with progressive diffusion of eco-compatible cultivation techniques, can be subject to reduction,
volume, at recovery and reuse of water (e.g. localized irrigation, ebb and flow pallets, discharge recovery though attribution of an economic value to the environmental cost of enrichment could already today
systems) and at recovery and use of rainwater, which is an additional source of high quality irrigation water allow better evaluation of the general cost of this cultivation operation possible.
that can be mixed with not very suitable water or used to face a seasonal deficit. It is also necessary to respect what is contemplated by the legislation in force and, above all, the times
In the case of soil with an inclination above 10% the following recommendations are made: of distribution of fertilizers. In Table 5 the periods are shown in which distribution in fields of fertilizers
contemplating cover of the soil through insertion of intercalary crops and cover-crops; containing nitrogen is forbidden in relation to the type of crop.
effecting, in arboreal crops, grassing at least of the lines in between;
not working the soil to below a depth of 25 cm.

Adequate hydraulic-agricultural preparation should be made to prevent surface runoff water on sloping
land and guarantee the draining of excess water on flat land. There should also be creation and main-
tenance of the wooded or grassed strips along water bodies and channels, with a buffer function in
relation to nitrogen of agricultural origin.
In all irrigation systems, particularly for flow irrigation, the adequacy of the volume of watering is important,
bearing in mind the demands of the crop, in order to avoid wastes and risks of leaching. In any case flow
irrigation is dissuaded on soils:
that are very permeable;
where the level of the water stratum on average is less than 1.50 metres from the country plain;
suited for roots of less than 15-20 cm;
with inclination above 3%.

Marotti M. (2004) Tecniche di coltivazione delle principali specie officinali. Informatore Fitopatologico
La Difesa delle piante, 54 (1), 8-13.
Regione Liguria Dipartimento Agricoltura e Protezione Civile. Piano dazione per le zone Vulnerabili da
nitrati di origine agricola. Documento interno
Zaccheo P., Cattivello C (2009). I substrati di coltivazione. Edagricole, Bologna, 663 pp.

36 37

4.2Contamination of environmental sectors: pesti-
MOTIVATIONS NOTES cides P. Martini, M. Odasso, S. Rapetti, L. Repetto

According to Italian Legislative Decree 194 of 17 March 1995 (implementation of EEC directive
Limit the losses throu-
Alternation of cereals 91/414) the products used for controlling the various plant parasites (fungi, bacteria, insects, mites,
Autumn-winter cycle 1 November-28 gh leaching and runoff
and legumes recom- rodents, etc.), as well as for the elimination of infesting grasses and the regulation of the physiological
(sowable) February water; poor use by
mended processes of vegetables are called agrochemicals, or phytosanitary products or pesticides (PP). The-
crops (if present)
se do not include fertilizers, i.e. products used for the nutrition of plant species and for improvement
In the absence of Watering volumes
Limit the losses throu- of the fertility of the soil.
crops, unless close to adequate to the water
Vegetables gh leaching and runoff
seeding or transplan- retention capacities of On the basis of their field of employment these products are distinguished as in Table 6:
tation the soil recommended
Watering volumes
Mineral Limit the losses throu-
Spring-summer cycle 30 August -30 Ja- adequate to the water pesticides EMPLOYMENT
fertilizers gh leaching and runoff
(sowable) nuary retention capacities of
and organics water Fungicides against fungi or cryptograms
the soil recommended
containing Insecticides against insects harmful for plants and alimentary commodities
quick- Watering volumes
Limit the losses throu- Acaricides against mites (e.g. red spider, tarsonemids, etc.)
1 November-28 adequate to the water
release Fruit and vine gh leaching and runoff
February retention capacities of against nematodes (e.g. Meloidogyne incognita, nematodes carrying
nitrogen and water Nematicides
the soil recommended viruses)
sewages Molluscicides against snails and slugs, generally in the form of baits
Limit losses through
1 November-28 Rodenticides against rodents (rats, voles, moles)
Lawns and pastures leaching and runoff
water Herbicides against infesting grasses or weeds
active ingredient active at gaseous phase as fungicide,
Vegetable or orna- Soil fumigants
mental plants in pots insecticide or nematicide
Watering volumes Repellents they keep animal parasites away from plants
(excluding irrigation Limit losses through
1 November-15 adequate to the water
systems with localized leaching and runoff Plant regulators they regulate the development of the plants (e.g. hormones)
January retention capacities of
distribution in the pot water
the soil recommended Physiopathology medicines they prevent physiopathologies (plant alterations)
or using plywood for
sub-irrigation Behaviour modifiers they modify the behaviour of insects
On stubble until 31 Watering volumes
Limit losses through
With autumn-winter August, on crop from adequate to the water Table 6. Types of pesticides.
leaching and volatili-
cycle 1 December to 31 retention capacities of
January the soil recommended
Soil con- Plant parasites can cause serious damage to production (it is calculated, for instance, that the grain
Under cover for
ditioners production that would be lost because of weeds alone, without the employment of weed killers, would
crops with cycle less Watering volumes
and mineral Limit losses through
than 90 days before adequate to the water be over 30%), and from the post-war period to today it has been possible to reach a major productive
fertilizers Vegetables runoff water and vola-
sowing or transplan- retention capacities of
containing tilization increase thanks to the marked increase in the employment of pesticides.
ting, in the absence of the soil recommended
slow-release the crop Alongside the unquestioned advantages given by the use of plant treatments, there is however a series
or control- of problems linked to the impact on the environment, and the integrity of ecosystems and human he-
led-release Watering volumes
Limit losses through alth, and therefore such products have to be utilized according to the law. When farmers employ these
nitrogen With spring-summer Between previous adequate to the water
runoff water and vola- products, they have to respect rules established by national laws and by local regulations, and private
cycle (sowable) crop and 31 January retention capacities of
the soil recommended citizens have to do the same thing in their farms since what makes the difference is not so much the
Fruit and vines None quantity of product employed, but the modalities of application and the precautions taken during their
Lawns and pastures None employment.

Table 5. Indications on the periods in which distribution in the field of fertilizers containing nitrogen is forbidden in relation
to the crop type 11.

Modified from: Liguria region, Department for Agriculture and Civil Defence, programme of action for zones vulnerable to nitrates of agricultural origin (Direc-
tive 91/676/CE and Decree Law 152/99)-BURL 28 of 12 July 2006).

38 39


In Italy, PP can only be produced and sold after they have obtained approval, through a decree of the
Ministry of Health. Further, before signature of the decree, the dossier of registration is examined and ap- Directive 2009/128/EC
on the sustainable use of
proved by a committee of experts that has to appraise the utility of products and their safety for crops and pesticides
the environment.

Law 4/11 Regulation (EC)

Today, the national legislation is harmonized with EEC legislation, and the reference norms are those that follow. on the institution of 1107/2009
In the European Union authorization for placing PP on the market is based on EEC Regulation no. notional of integrated on the authorization to
production sell pesticides
1107/2009 and its enclosures, as well as on the national legislation of member states, and the complex
work of evaluation of the substances contained in pesticides, according to common criteria established
at a European level, has now ended. This major activity, carried out at a European level beginning from
1993, examined around 1,000 substances and led to the progressive withdrawal from the market of
Regulation (EC) Regulation (EC)
around 700 chemical molecules. 1185/2009 396/2005
NB: The biggest withdrawal concerned insecticides (only 1/3 of the active substances evaluated entered egarding statistics on residues of
on pesticides pesticides in food
the positive list with big losses in the families of phosphoric, carbamide and pyrethroid esters) and herbi- commodities
cides (50% loss). Among fungicides the losses were rather limited, but with significant effects especially in Directive
the family of the triazoles (Bazzoni D., 2012) on machines for
EEC Regulation no. 1107/2009 on the sale of pesticides entirely replaced Directive 91/414. It
introduced a classification of active substances on the basis of their dangerousness (also establishing
precise exclusion or cut off criteria), called for comparative evaluation of the substances themselves, Figure 11. Italian and European normative picture on the subject of pesticides.
imposed the obligatory keeping of registers of sale and use of products, and conformed the parameters
of evaluation of PP inside zones of the European Union, to guarantee mutual recognition of evaluations
in homogeneous zones. 4.2.3 EFFECTS OF PESTICIDES
The correct employment of PP allows one to get quality productions and to reduce dispersion of
This regulation paved the way for European Directive 2009/128/CE on the sustainable use of pe- active principles in the environment and exposure in workplaces. If the correct dosages are excee-
sticides, recently enacted in Italy with legislative decree 150 of 14 August 2012. In this connection, the ded, if improper use is made of these products (e.g. products used on crops not foreseen on the
working out of the legislative decree that in our country implements this directive is about to be completed, label), if there is failure to respect the distribution modalities or incorrect disposal of the container and
and within the first months of 2013 the National Action Plan must be defined that will be issued through residues of mixtures, one instead risks causing damage both to people and to other organisms that
a decree by Mipaaf, in agreement with the Ministries of the Environment and Health. The actions defined constitute essential elements of the ecosystems (also called non-target organisms). Further, the
by this directive aim to protect human health and the environment, and to achieve the reduction and ra- dispersion of PP in the environment can involve phenomena of accumulation in the biota (plant and
tionalization of the employment of PP, and they stress some important actions, listed in art. 14, which also animal life together) and, consequently in the food chain and in the different environmental sectors
contemplates drawing up the National Action Plan: focus on the training of operators in the production (surface waters, underground waters, soil, air).
chain; specific measures for equipments and manipulation of PP; specific measures for sensitive areas;
and orientation towards forms of agriculture with reduced impact (integrated pest management and orga- Environmental pollution
nic agriculture). Thus the use of PP also has repercussions on environmental components not directly affected by
the treatments; these repercussions can occur not only during the actual treatment phase, but also
following the preparation of the mixture, the washing of the equipment used for the treatment, the
4.2.2 GENERAL NORMATIVE PICTURE disposal of containers of PP and of residues of mixtures.
In the last decade the PP sector has been characterized by profound evolution of the normative picture, Substances or preparations are defined as DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT if, spread
and Figure 11 sums up the most important strategic provisions that have been adopted at an Italian and in the environment, they present or can present immediate or deferred risks for one or more envi-
European level. ronmental components. These chemical agents, more than any others, must never be dispersed,
even in minimal quantities, in the environment (water, air, soil) but must always be eliminated through
appropriate disposal.

40 41

On the containers of such substances, close to the label, a symbol appears: Effects on plants
It is to be remembered that the empty containers of PP must not be buried or Excessive dosages of any plant treatment, or improper use of a product according to different modali-
burnt, but stored in protected places, sheltered from bad weather and out of the ties than those indicated on the label, or on unsuitable crops, can have harmful effects on plants (plant
reach of children and pets, until they are handed over to the farms authorized to toxicity) that can be manifested in different ways, like, for instance, necrosis, burns, falling or deformation
dispose of them or according to any indications by the competent authorities for of leaves, flowers or fruits, and deceleration or even arrest of development. Thus, before employing a
the territory (town administrations). The same goes for residues of mixtures, if it product on a crop, above all if there are no indications referring to previous experiences, it is advisable
is not possible to use them in subsequent treatments. to effect a small trial to appraise its selectivity. Effects on water Effects on wild fauna

Treatments must not be carried out less than 10 metres from water bodies, unless there are different PPs can be lethal for animals that live or nest on the soil. For instance, herbicides are products that
indications on the label of the product used, in that pollution of surface waters may occur following tre- very frequently cause mortality of game; and therefore it is advisable to reduce the employment of such
atments performed along water bodies (e.g. with herbicides) or because the PP may be transported products to the minimum, working instead mechanically, particularly in orchards and vineyards and along
by the wind (drift effect). Further, treatments are forbidden near wells and near places where water is watercourses.
taken underground, to avoid risks of contamination if the PP percolates through the soil and reaches
the water strata. NB: If any dead game is found it is compulsory to report it to the competent health authority for the
purpose of identifying the cause of death.
NB: some studies made in Great Britain have underlined that about 50% of contamination of surface
waters is due to incorrect disposal of the any leftover mixtures at the end of the treatments or of polluted Effects on human health
waters that are produced during washing of atomizers or other equipments at the end of the treatment. In an editorial of the scientific magazine Nature (Harper, 2007) we read that our ecosystem has become
In particular, from this study it has emerged that starting from an active substance dosage of 2.5 kg/hec- a large-scale chemical-biological experiment, in which we are simultaneously the people that experiment
tare, on average 7 grams of active substance end up in the water table and that about 30% of this quan- and the people who undergo it, and only time will tell if this experiment is well conducted, as we hope.
tity originates from the washing of sprayers. All this is due to the fact that the area used for this operation The European Directive of October 2009 on the use of PP in agriculture recognizes in intensive use of
is generally always the same one and is characterized by a reduced surface area (10-20 m2). (from: IL these products a potential risk for human health: this means that even if the scientific data are insufficient
CORRETTO IMPIEGO DEI PRODOTTI PRODOTTI FITOSANITARI of the Emilia Romagna Region. to allow an accurate estimation of the risks, the member states should apply the principle of precaution,
which is a principle of community law. Effects on soil The cases of pesticide poisoning reported in Italy mostly concern farmers exposed to
Soil pollution is due first of all to the dosages and modalities of use of PP, but also, and above all, to the phosphoric esters, but poisonings are also reported from carbamides, as well
time necessary for its degradation and therefore its persistence in the soil. The risks consequent on the as from dithiocarbamides and other mixtures: thus anyone who uses PP
employment of PP are linked to capacity for accumulation along the food chains and to possible altera- must be fully aware of the potential risks that they run and adopt all the
Correct employment
tions induced in the soil ecosystem. necessary measures to protect their own health and that of others.
of pesticides = quality
Particularly sensitive to the presence of these substances is the pedo-fauna (all the animal organisms The population groups most exposed to plant treatments are:
that live in a soil area) and therefore the residues of PP can jeopardize the important function played by workers employed in production,
reduction of
them in decomposition and humification of organic substance and, therefore, in the fertility of the soil. farmers that employ them,
environmental impact,
Insecticides can reduce the number of individuals and species of the pedo-fauna, simplifying the biotic consumers of agricultural products.
health safety
community. Naturally the extent of the alteration also depends on the physical-chemical characteristics The most dangerous phases of the employment of these pro-
of the soil and on the typology of the PP employed; products based on cupric mixtures, for instance, ducts are those of production and manipulation. Also dangerous
can give rise to phenomena of copper accumulation in the soil (the crops for which such products are is the dispersion of diluted plant treatments, unless these are not
mostly employed are vine and beet). active on insects, plants, etc. in concentrations that are surely not
NB: The most infamous of the PP, which have been in the limelight in the last few decades, are DDT dangerous for man (e.g. some modern by-products of pyrethrum). Often associations of more than
and atrazine. The former has been less and less used because of its elevated chemical stability and its one plant treatments are sold: in such cases the toxic power of the individual mixtures may be incre-
prolonged presence in the food chain: contaminated grass, the nourishment of breeding animals, was ased or decreased.
the vehicle that allowed it to be deposited in the tissues of the latter and then in milk given to babies.
From animal tissues it transferred to man, then also contaminating milk given by mothers to babies. Atra-
zine, used instead as a herbicide, is known for an episode of presumed pollution of the water table in
the Po plain. The pollution of the water table caused by percolation of toxic substances through the soil
is certainly one of the environmental problems that are most difficult to solve. (from: http://www.dipsa.
unifi. it/upload/sub/Didattica/DallaMarta/1-La_degradazione_dei_suoli.pdf).

42 43

4.2.5 PLANT TREATMENTS AND CONSUMERS Types of toxicity that plant treatments can cause
A treatment can affect different parts of the plant, such as fruits, roots and leaves; these different parts Poisoning from plant treatments can be of 2 types: acute or chronic.
can come into contact with the consumer in different ways: in a direct way when commercialized as Acute toxicity: it is manifested within 24 hours of taking the toxic substance; it is that which gives the
such (this is the case of flowers, fruit, vegetables, etc.), or transformed by the conserve clearest symptoms and can also cause the persons death. The people most exposed to it are workers
industry; or in an indirect way when used as foodstuff for animals, which in turn employed above all in the production of PP, though farmers must not underestimate this danger, above
Carry out can provide food for man (meat, milk, eggs, honey). For the consumers protec- all during manipulation of the undiluted product.
treatments tion it is therefore important: Among the characteristic symptoms of acute poisoning we can consider the following: vomiting, diarrho-
only when to effect treatments only if really necessary; ea, abdominal pains, convulsions, headache, dizziness and respiratory insufficiency.
really to use products with the smallest possible environmental impact; The label indicates the principal pathologies caused by the product and the possible antidotes. For this
necessary to always respect the indications relating to the fields of employment reason it is fundamental to show the label to the physician in case of accident.
(crops and adversity specifically admitted); Chronic toxicity: it is manifested following continuous poisoning prolonged in time by dosages that in
to use in the greenhouse only products for which such use is indicated on themselves are not toxic but cause an accumulation of a substance in cells, often causing irreversible
the label; damage. It is the more difficult toxicity to identify and study since it may involve manifold factors and its
to respect and not exceed the dosages recommended on the label; effects can be revealed after an unpredictable time period and, also in the case in which it interferes with
to respect the periods of action and, when indicated, the number of times recommended on the label; the reproductive sphere, on the descendants of the individual subject exposed.
to respect the empty period both for harvesting and, in the case of stored products, for placing on sale; The chronic toxicity effects of plant treatments can be of a carcinogenic type, or teratogenic, reproduc-
not to let animals graze in treated fields before an appropriate period of time has passed, which nor- tive or degenerative of some tissues; the organs most affected are the lung, the stomach, and the ha-
mally coincides with the empty period; ematic system. The people exposed to chronic toxicity are both agricultural employees and consumers
to use distribution equipment that is checked, properly set and perfectly efficient; of foodstuffs treated with plant treatments, either human or animals.
to regulate the sprayer jet so as not to provoke drifts onto adjacent crops.
Furthermore, particular care must be taken over so-called vulnerable categories (pregnant and breast- Pathways through which poisoning can occur
feeding women, children, the elderly) since they are particularly sensitive to the short and long term effects
By ingestion: that is to say through the mouth and the digestive apparatus. It is the most dangerous
of such substances.
pathway though the least frequent one among farm workers; it is important to take care not to take
hands or objects contaminated by the product to the mouth and to never decant these products in
containers that can attract the attention of children or be confused with drink containers.
Pesticides have been divided into classes of toxicity on the basis of their impact on both man and the By contact: that is to say through the skin. It is the pathway of the most frequent poisoning, above
environment. all when the appropriate individual protection devices are not worn (gloves, boots, overall etc.) and
Until a few years ago this classification was mainly based on the assessment of the acute toxicity of the shoulder-born sprayers are used. Dermal contact can in some cases provoke allergies or cutaneous
active substance alone on man and products were divided into four toxicological classes (I, II, III and IV). redness solely in a superficial way. It must be stressed that sweat, causing an expansion of pores and
The current legislation also evaluates chronic toxicity, the impact on the environment (air and soil), the per- also facilitating the breakdown of pulverulent products, increases the penetration of the toxic substances
sistence, the quantity of residues, the action on useful fauna and on target animals, and also considers the through the skin, causing real poisoning that involves the whole organism.
active substance, as well as the possible adjuvant products and other components that can contribute to By inhalation: that is to say through the respiratory apparatus. It is very easy not to become immedia-
an increase in the risk of toxicity as well as the type of formulation with which the plant treatments is sold. tely aware of the poisoning that has occurred, above all when the substances are unscented. To avoid
Currently on the labels of products on sale there appear, in place of the class of toxicity, the symbol and this type of poisoning, it is preferable to do mixing in open places and to always use individual protection
the indications of dangerousness of the preparation, the phrase or the type of sentences relating to the devices, checking the efficiency of the filters used for facial masks.
specific risks and indications of suggested precautions. In many cases of poisoning, the penetration of the product can simultaneously happen via several path-
Very toxic and Toxic products can cause deadly poisoning, Harmful products serious poisoning, ways; it is therefore extremely important to respect the safety norms and to use the protection devices
Irritating products allergies and irritations, and unclassified products, marked by the words handle with (masks with filters, rubber gloves, goggles, boots, impermeable overall, etc.).
caution, can cause negligible poisoning. NB: For a long time people have been working on creating new technologies for spraying making it pos-
However, all plant treatments are potentially dangerous, since they are always substances able to interfere sible to eliminate the risks deriving from plant treatments in agricultural areas; furthermore, the shrewdest
with human and animal health and with the environment. floriculturists are already experimenting with integrated pest management, combining the chemical me-
ans with the biological one that, if well employed, especially in some cases, can prove just as effective.
Undoubtedly the future of pest management in floriculture goes in the direction of a biological pest ma-
nagement, as contemplated by the European directives, from which we see that the substances that will
be included among plant treatments will have to show that they have a clear benefit for plant production
without any harmful effects on human, animal and environmental health.

44 45

4.3 Risk
assessment for human health deriving from
The repeated and continuous use of a pesticide against determined pathogens/parasites/weeds can
lead to a paradoxical situation: the PP quite suddenly, or progressively in time, may prove to be, at employment of fertilizers and pesticides
normal dosages, no longer able to perform its action. The causes can be manifold, among which the P. Martini, M. Odasso, S. Rapetti, L. Repetto
most dangerous is genetically the selection of organisms resistant to the PP The repeated use of a de- 4.3.1 FERTILIZERS
termined active principle, above all if it is a mono-site action (one acting on precise metabolic pathways The risk assessment is conceived for estimating the risk increase during life in relation to subjects that
of the target) on a population, will eliminate a smaller or larger part of it, but it is very likely that sooner or are exposed to recalcitrant substances like metals (in particular farmers and their children). To appraise
later some individual will succeed in an action of pest management allowing it to survive the toxic effect this risk it is necessary to take into consideration exposure, both direct and indirect, due to ingestion
of the PP. Resistant organisms can then genetically transmit this characteristic to other individuals of the of products cultivated on soils enriched with determined products or of animals fed on such areas.
species, down to reaching whole populations resistant to a given active substance. It is often precisely For this reason the concentrations of metals should be measured in soil, surface waters, plants (fruit,
man that, with a rash use of chemistry, creates the following problems: vegetables, cereals and forage) and animal tissues (fish, meats and dairy produce) (U.S. EPA and CEA,
use of wrong product dosages (sub-lethal); 1999).
incorrect application of the product (e.g. treatments on wet vegetation, For correct definition of the risks correlated with the application of fertilizers the following parameters
with a consequent effect of dilution of the PP, or on windy days, with a must be taken into consideration:
Repeated and
consequent effect of PP drift); characterization of fertilizers: chemical composition, criteria of employment, dosages;
continuous use of
repeated and constant use of the same substance or substan- geographical location of the area of use, weather data, characteristics of the soil, size of the farm, type
an active principle
ces in general having the same action mechanism (using pro- of crop and factors that condition absorption by the plant;
against determined
ducts with different names does not guarantee that they act description of the elements that characterize the receptors (body weight, rate of inhalation, pathways
in a different way). of exposure and duration).
weeds can make
The general procedure used for the ecological risk assessment type is indicated in Table 7 and consists
them resistant to PP
Thus with simple measures one can limit or even avoid this in three principal phases (U.S.EPA 1992):
phenomenon. It is necessary: identification of the problem;
to use PP at correct dosages (as indicated on the label); analysis;
to employ PP when really necessary, i.e. in the presence of the risk assessment.
parasite or when environment conditions that are highly favourable to its development The models employed for defining the destination and the transport mechanisms of the contaminant are
and/or to its diffusion are established; used to determine the concentrations in the soil, to estimate the consequential risk for the airways and for
in case it is necessary to repeatedly intervene against an adversity, to alternate products with different surface waters, as well as to estimate the exact concentrations of exposure inside the food chain.
action mechanisms;
where available, to use biological means of struggle, that can be introduced in the planned pest ma- The most important pathways of exposure for human beings are:
nagement in place of or to integrate the chemical means direct ingestion of the fertilizer during application;
to adopt correct agronomic criteria and to take care of the hygiene of equipment, so as to operate ingestion of the soil being enriched;
under optimal conditions for the crop and to prevent the infections. inhalation of particulate and vapours during and after application of the fertilizer;
ingestion of plants, vegetables and fruit and animals respectively grown/raised and fed on enriched
ingestion of fish from water bodies adjacent to enriched soils.

46 47

Identifying the characteristics of the stressful agent (typology, intensity, dura- RfD RfC Oral CSF URF (inhalation)
tion, frequency, etc.) (mg/kg/day) (mg/m3) (mg/kg/g)-1 (g/m3)-1
Identifying the ecosystem potentially at risk As 0.0003 NA 1.5 0.0043
Appraising the existing data relating to the effects of an ecological type Cd 0.001 NA NA 0.0018
Identification of Cr 0.003 0.0001 NA 0.012
PHASE I Select appropriate endpoints considering the ecological importance, objecti-
the problem Cu NA NA NA NA
ves of a managerial type at an administrative level, the social values, suscepti-
bility to the stressful agent
Hg (Elemental
Developing a conceptual model related to how the stressful agent is able to
divalent methyl 0.0001 0.0003 NA NA
influence the sectors of the ecosystem
Characterization of the exposure:
Ni 0.02 NA NA 0.00024
Characterizing the stressful agent in terms of distribution or type of variations V 0.007 NA NA NA
Characterizing the ecosystem Zn 0.3 NA NA NA
Analyzing the potential exposure Table 8. Reference standard for metals in fertilizers (U.S. EPA and CEA 1999). NA = Not available. RfDs are espresse as
Defining an exposure profile mg of substance input per diem for kg of bodily weight (mg/kg/day) and RfCs are expressed as mg of substance per
m3 of air (mg/m3). The CSF is expressed in units of (mg/kg/day)-1 and the URF relating to exposure through inhalation is
PHASE II Analysis Characterization of the effects of an ecological type:
expressed in units of (g/m3)-1.
Appraising the data relating to the effect of the stressful agents
Analyzing the ecological response in terms of determination or extrapolation
and evaluation of the causal evidence of the relationship between stressful
agent and induced response
Developing an agent profile relating to the binomial stressful agent-induced RfDs and RfCs are used to appraise the non-carcinogenic effects deriving Risk assessment
response from ingestion and inhalation, and are defined as an estimate of the estimates the risk
Estimating the risk level of daily exposure by the population (U.S.EPA, 1989). CSFs and increase during
Integrating the stressful agent-induced response and stressful agent-exposure URFs can be derived from a certain number of models on a statistic farmers lives as
profiles and biological basis. CSFs and URFs are used for appraising the they are exposed to
PHASE III Risk assessment Identifying the uncertainty levels proper to the analyses carcinogenic effects of exposure in the form of ingestion and inha- fertilizers and PPs
Describing the risk lation respectively.
Summing up the risk assessment The values related to the reference standards used in risk asses-
Interpreting the ecological significance sment relating to the metals have been developed by the American
EPA and are shown in Table 8.
Table 7. Principal phases of ecological risk assessment (U.S. EPA 1992). The exact concentration related to an exposure estimated in the soil, in plants and in animals should be
combined with the toxicity standards and the exposure factors (duration of the exposure, rate of inge-
stion) for the purpose of estimating the risks for human health (U.s. EPA and CEA 1999).
It is assumed that the risk relating to all the pathways of ingestion for a single component is additive. It is
also assumed that exposure by ingestion occurs at the same moment for the same individuals and that
the same health standard is applied to all exposures by ingestion. For substances with a non-carcino-
The evaluation of the dosage-response relationship serves to determine the most critical effects on genic endpoint12, exposure by inhalation is only to be added to exposure by ingestion if the same health
health associated with a certain substance and seeks to express the relationship between dosage standard can be applied to both contamination pathways.
and effect in quantitative terms, defined briefly as toxicity values or health reference standard. Health As regards metals and metalloids, only arsenic is considered carcinogenic by the oral pathway. All other
reference standards are generally divided by the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States metals are not carcinogenic orally and they do not have any common endpoints in relation to health
(EPA) into 4 types in relation to the reference dosages: standards; therefore, as regards exposure by ingestion to different metals inside the same product, the-
RfD - Reference dosage se are not considered additive. No other exposure to metals is considered additive because common
SF - slope factor target organs do not exist in relation to the carcinogenic health standards for these metals (U.S. EPA
CSF - Cancer Slope Factor; an age-averaged lifetime excess cancer incidence rate per unit intake (or and CEA 1999).
unit exposure for external exposure pathways) and is used to convert the intake to a cancer risk.
URF - unitary risk factor.

Parameter used to measure the effect of a given substance

48 49


On the basis of evaluations of the risks for health, pesticides can be classified in relation to different Bazzoni D. (2012) Aggiornamenti normativi sui prodotti fitosanitari: Regolamento CE 1107/2009 sullim-
effects on human health. In this connection the present legislation does not only consider lethal acute missione in commercio - Giornate Fitopatologiche.
effects, as happened in the past, when the four old toxicological classifications were still in force; inste- Harper J.W. (2007) A degrading solution to pollution. Nature 446: 29
ad, the following are also considered: U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA) (1989). Interim Procedures for Estimating Risks As-
non-lethal irreversible effects, as for example in the case of inhibition of nervous transmission caused sociated with Exposures to Mixtures of Chlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxins and -ibenzofurans (CDDs and
by organic phosphoric substances; CDFs) and 1989 Update. Washington, DC.
serious effects that can occur following repeated or prolonged exposure to substances, e.g. in the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (1992). Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment. EPA 630-R-
case of exposure to volatile hydrocarbons; 92-001, Washington DC.
corrosive and irritating effects; U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA) (1999). Background Report on Fertilizer Use, Contami-
sensitizing effects; nants and Regulations, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Washington.
carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic effects for human reproduction. U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and Center for Environmental Analysis (CEA) (1999).
Estimating Risk from Contaminants Contained in Agricultural Fertilizers, Draft Report, available on-line at
Protection of the health of employees involved in manipulation of pesticides and plant http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/recycling/fertiliz/risk/report.pdf
Useful links
Dalla Marta A. La_degradazione_dei_suoli http://www.dipsa.unifi.it/upload/sub/Didattica/DallaMarta/1-
Carry out preventive examinations of the basic health state and check for possible presence of La_degradazione_dei_suoli.pdf
congenital pathologies that could interfere with the use of pesticides, particularly very toxic, toxic Definizione di prodotti fitosanitari: http://www.minambiente.it/home_it/menu.html?mp=/menu/menu_
and harmful ones. attivita/&m=argomenti.html%7CValutazione_del_Rischio_Ambientale VRA_.html%7CProdotti_fitosanitari.
Inform the physician of any medicines taken usually or just once, so as to avoid possible interfe- html%7Cfitosanitari_Cosa_sono.html
rences with pesticides. Guida alluso corretto dei prodotti fitosanitari - Consultabile presso il portale ufficiale della Regione Pie-
Make periodic checks to highlight in good time the presence of possible alterations before the monte allindirizzo http://www.regione.piemonte.it/cgi-bin/agri/pubblicazioni/pub/pubblicazione.cgi?id_
appearance of the symptoms. Such checks, on the basis of Decreto Legislativo 9 aprile
2008 n. 81, are compulsory for staff, even if temporary.
Guida allutilizzo degli agrofarmaci - a cura di Boccardo V. E Munari M. (2011) Assessorato allAgricoltura
Always use individual protection devices during preparation of mixtures and execution of treat-
ment and regularly check its state of efficiency. della Regione Liguria. Consultabile presso il portale ufficiale della Regione Liguria dedicato allagricoltura
Do not eat, drink and smoke during the treatment. allindirizzo http://www.agriligurianet.it/Agrinet/DTs_GENERALE/20120306/Guida_Agrofarmaci.pdf
At the end of the treatments wash the individual protection devices and the garments worn and Il corretto impiego dei prodotti fitosanitari MODULO 1 - I prodotti fitosanitari e i metodi di lotta - Consulta-
wash yourself with abundant soap and water. bile presso il portale ufficiale della Regione Emilia Romagna dedicato ad Agricoltura e pesca | Avversit
Pregnant or breast-feeding women (until at least seven months after the birth) must not be ex- delle piante > Temi > Prodotti fitosanitari allindirizzo http://agricoltura.regione.emilia-romagna.it/fitosanita-
posed to pesticides, in that some toxic substances are carried by the blood and by the maternal rio/temi/prodotti-fitosanitari-1/patentino/il-corretto-impiego-dei-prodotti-fitosanitari
milk and therefore can respectively influence the nutrition of the foetus and breast-feeding. Centro Regionale di sperimentazione e Assistenza Agricola: http://www.cersaa.it/communication.html
Only carry out treatment in appropriate meteorological conditions, avoiding the warmest periods Centro Universitario di servizi Giardini Botanici Hanbury, Universit degli studi di Genova, Ventimilgia:
of the day and windy or rainy days. http:// www.giardinihanbury.com/hanbury4/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=182&lang
Istituto Regionale per la Floricoltura di Sanremo: www.regflor.it
Portale per lagricoltura della Regione Liguria: www.agriligurianet.it

For further information on safety in the workplace:

http://apps.portal.inail.it www.ispesl.it
www.lavoro.gov.it/Lavoro/sicurezza- Lavoro/

50 51

of the two processes, that of transport of roses from Kenya towards Holland and that of production in situ
4.4 The impact on the atmosphere: CO2 emissions of the flowers was more damaging for the environment. An analogous study compared the energy con-
in floriculture C. Paoli, P. Vassallo
sumption necessary to produce roses in Holland and that required to transport them from Ethiopia to the
Netherlands (de Vries 2010). In both cases importation from other countries proved to require less energy
In recent years, the field of horticulture and, consequently, floriculture, has proved increasingly more aware consumption and consequently lower emission of CO2 : although it is known that air transport is one of the
of the impacts that the production processes generate on the environment: among them we must certainly methods of transport that produce the biggest emissions of CO2 they did not equal the emissions produ-
list that relating to direct or indirect emission into the atmosphere of gases affecting ced through the huge energy consumption for acclimatization of greenhouses in Holland.
the climate and in particular CO2. In Italy, some evaluations regarding energy consumption in flower growing and the consequent produc-
Floriculture Life on Earth has been able to develop thanks to the presence of an tion of greenhouse gases have for instance been made within the LIFE Ecoflower Terlizzi project. Life
generates large atmosphere favourable to it. cycle analysis has been applied to the production of cut flowers, particularly of roses and potted plants
quantities of CO2, which The climatic conditions of our planet are regulated by a perfect (cyclamens) for the purpose of identifying the critical points, from the environmental point of view, of the
can be limited by using equilibrium in which there intervene the atmosphere, the earths production process. The biggest impact, as regards the production of roses, proves to be that of the con-
renewable energies surface, snow, ice, the oceans and other areas of water on the sumption of fossil fuels for the heating of greenhouses: this item amounts to over 90% of the generation
and optimizing the earths surface. of greenhouse gases.
consumption of resources When solar radiation hits the atmosphere and the earths sur- These considerations impose the need to perform deeper evaluations on the impacts produced by flori-
in the production face, this is then put back into space. If all the solar radiation culture and particularly those associated with indirect emissions of greenhouse gases due to consumption
process were to be returned by the earth, the average temperature of of electricity, fuels and goods and to preventively apply some practices for saving Energy and resources
our planet would be equal to -19 C, while instead it is about within the productive process.
14 C. This happens because some atmospheric gases, in parti-
cular carbon dioxide and water vapour (known as greenhouse gases)
act as a blanket, a kind of barrier that does not allow heat to leave the earths atmosphere. Clearly the
amount of these gases in the atmosphere must be maintained at levels such as to maintain a correct tem-
perature for the existence of life on earth. Unfortunately, human activities involve an increase in greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere, upsetting this delicate balance. For this reason it is necessary to minimize the
emission of gases that alter the climate in the atmosphere.
There are numerous sources of CO2 associated with the process of horticultural production and/or or-
namental plants: they can be divided into direct or direct sources. Among the indirect sources we can
consider the following:
consumption of fuels for acclimatization and/or lighting of greenhouses and places for growing and
other reasons: it is estimated that the energy budget of a greenhouse on average is 75% for heating,
15% for electricity, and 10% for machinery (Newman 2011) References
use of vehicles to transport the end products to the sorting points on the way to the principal markets;
Borsotto P., Sturla A., Trione S., 2008. La floricoltura ligure, una analisi del settore e del contesto attra
production and transport of goods consumed to complete the process.
verso la RICA. INEA, Istituto Nazionale di Economia Agraria sede regionale per la Liguria
The direct sources of CO2 associated with flower production are due to the production of plant waste that,
in the case of both abandonment and subsequent decomposition and combustion on the site (a practice De Cock L., Van Lierde D., 1999. Monitoring Energy Consumption in Belgian Glasshouse Horticulture.
that still today is widespread, though in most cases it is illegal13), produces carbon dioxide. International Commission of Agricultural Engineering,CIGR E-Journal Volume 1
The flower and vegetable growing sectors are today characterized by elevated energy waste, above all De Vries W., 2010. Qualitative comparison of Dutch and Ethiopian rose production systems. Training
as regards greenhouse production (De Cock and Van Lierde 1999), which in Liguria occupies 30% of the Msc thesis, University of Groningen
surface and constitutes 33% of the production of potted plants in the Flower and Nursery District (western Newman S.E., 2011. Floriculture. ed. Elsevier http://campus.extension.org/file.php/424/supplemen-
Liguria) (95% in the Province of Imperia) and 28% of that of cut flowers and foliages (Borsotto et al. 2008). tal_Reading/01%20Introduction/Encyclopedia%20of%20Environmental%20Health%20-%20Floricultu-
However, the estimates relating to emissions of CO2 associated with flower production are still very limi- re.pdf (accessed 28.09.2012)
ted and only few scientific papers have dealt with this theme. Vringer and Blok (2000) estimated that the Williams A., 2007. Comparative study of Cut Roses for the British Market Produced in kenya and the
quantity of energy indirectly consumed by a Dutch family through the purchase of cut flowers and home Netherlands. Prcis Report for World Flowers, Cranfield University
plants, being incorporated in them following their productive process, amounts to 4.3 GJ per family in one
Vringer K., Blok K., 2000. The energy requirement of cut flowers and consumer options to reduce it.
year and corresponds to 2% of the total energy demand per family nucleus. In 2007 the British Cranfield
Resources, Conservation and Recycling 28, 328
University (Williams 2007) produced a study in which the methods of production of cut roses in Kenya and
in Holland were compared, with appraisal of the CO2 production, for the purpose of understanding which

Directive 2008/98/EC, implemented by Legislative Decree 205 of 3 December 2010 (Article 13, which amends Article 185 of Legislative Decree 152/2006)
states that Straw, mowing and pruning, as well as other natural non-hazardous agricultural or forestry material... if not used in agriculture, forestry or for the
production of energy using processes or methods which do not harm the environment or endanger human health must be considered waste and as such must
be treated. Since plant residue is to all intents and purposes waste matter, in situ burning of crop residues resulting from agricultural and forestry processing
hence constitutes illegal disposal of waste, criminally punishable under art. 256 of Legislative Decree 152/2006.Il. In this connection, the decree punishes activity
of waste management without a permit, stating that anyone carrying out an activity of collection, transport, recovery, disposal, trading and brokerage of waste
without the required authorization, registration or communication will be punished by a term of imprisonment from three months to one year or by a fine going
52 from two thousand six hundred euro to twenty-six thousand euro if it is non-hazardous waste.
It should however be noted that combustion strictly for plant protection is legal, for example to dispose of infected material such as branches with processionary
moth nests. In this case it may even be mandatory to proceed to the combustion in situ of the plant material.

4.5 Theimpact of cultivations on biodiversity, It is necessary areas, restoration and re-naturalization with plant material, bioenginee-
to privilege ring, cultivation of ornamental terrestrial and aquatic plants, gardens
sustainability assessment M. G. Mariotti, E. Roccotiello the growing of species and botanical gardens, experimental crops, scientific search).
with reduced needs, The type and intensity of the impact of the agriculture vary signifi-
Floriculture, nursery, horticulture and different forms of agriculture in ge- so as to save habitats cantly according to the different management methods: extensi-
For balanced neral have different impacts on the different components of ecosy- and reduce pollution, ve, intensive, small farm, agricultural industry, wood plantations
territorial planning stems and in particular on biotic communities. consumption or grassy cultivations, irrigated or not, protected crops or crops
and a competitive and In the next few lines we will try to outline briefly the main relations of territory and resource in fields, etc. It is known that a smaller environmental impact has
sustainable economy it between crops and the biological component of ecosystems, been attributed to extensive agriculture than to intensive. Since
is necessary to privilege presenting aspects that are rarely considered by farmers when flower and nursery activity is usually carried out in an intensive
the use or reuse of areas they start growing or drop out. form, often with an industrial or semi-industrial approach, the ex-
which already have a For this purpose, reference will be made to documents of pected incidence is particularly concentrated and high on narrow areas, above all where slopes have
strong human presence the International Union for Conservation of Nature been transformed with terracing.
(IUCN). This organization has long worked out a scheme If setting up an agricultural activity can be considered a threat for the conservation of species and ha-
for identification and assessment of threats to conservation of bitats, the abandonment of certain traditional forms of agriculture can in turn also represent a torea for
species and habitats. biodiversity or for some of its components. The consequences of the starting and abandonment of agri-
This hierarchical scheme, resulting from an initial list prepared by cultural activities should therefore be attentively evaluated and monitored, above all on parts of territory
Lucas and Walters (1976) and modified several times (Salafsky et al., 2008), has been available in its latest already underlined among those of greatest importance for biodiversity (hotspots, parks, reserves, sites
version (3.1) on the IUCN website since June 2012. of the European Nature 2000 network, etc.). In these cases, often it is not necessary to set up unreaso-
The expansion of agriculture is considered by itself a direct threat for the maintenance of nature, above nable absolute prohibitions, but rather to act in such a way that such processes can take place gradually
all because of the loss of areas otherwise occupied by natural/semi-natural habitats. This aspect has to and with solutions for mitigation of impacts or compensation of residual impacts. In assessment of the
be attentively considered during every installation. For balanced land planning and sustainable planning of impacts of the agriculture, in addition to the possible consumption of wilderness, obviously it is neces-
the economy it is therefore necessary to strongly privilege the use or reuse of areas which already have a sary to consider the connected infrastructures and technologies (greenhouses, silos, service buildings,
strong human presence, avoiding encroaching on surfaces occupied by natural/semi-natural vegetation. roads and other lines of transport, possible equipment for provisioning and water distribution, etc.).
Further, the presence of agriculture, by occupying the territory, can perform positive action both for the Besides, even if on one side, as mentioned, the presence of agriculture can help to prevent fires, it is
conservation of nature and from the economic-social point of view. In this connection, it is enough to re- undeniable that certain practices (burning plant waste, control of infesting agents with fire etc.) increase
call positive actions for preventing and fighting fires, the overseeing of critical situations for the defence of the risks and can cause serious environmental damages.
slopes, control of poaching etc. In a modern context, nevertheless, such functions would deserve to be Phenomena with negative impacts that are often neglected and not known to everyone are the introduc-
valorised better in a formal way going beyond family custom and the personal feeling of individuals. tion of alien invasive species and possible processes of diffusion of these. These can impair plant diver-
sity, influence equilibriums both fragile and consolidated in intra-specific relationships (not only between
plants, but also between plants and animals), and modify and alter important habitats. Among the
4.5.1 AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS HIGHLIGHTED BY IUCN species introduced there are plants and possible associated micro-organisms, the latter also including
use of means, techniques, pesticides, (e.g. PP, fertilizers, soil conditioners) and other products (e.g. actual or potential pathogens. Particularly surreptitious and insidious is the way in which certain pheno-
fuels), that can negatively influence pollution of the atmosphere, water or soil. mena of invasion by alien species can occur; they can remain latent for several decades after the first
loss of soil washed away because of improper use of areas for agriculture or adoption of cultivation introduction or spontaneous growth and then explode, quickly widening their new area. According to
techniques that are ecologically inappropriate. Consumption of territory and resources can cause a Reichard and White (2001) the most invasive plants have been introduced for employment in ornamental
critical situation for the good state of conservation of species and habitats. crops, by hatcheries, botanical gardens and single people.
loss of water resources, of major importance in the Mediterranean area, otherwise available for parti- Invasive species, in most cases, show:
cularly sensitive species of plants and wild animals; in this respect critical situations are accentuated rapid growth and a short reproductive cycle,
in summer periods, when agricultural demands and those of wild biocenose overlap. In this case too, great ability to colonize disturbed or bare lands,
although there are technical solutions to mitigate the negative effects, sustainable planning of equi- precocious flowering and dissemination,
pment is important, starting in the first place from the phase of choice of the plants to be cultivated, production of big quantities of fruits and/or seeds,
privileging species with reduced demands. efficient propagation and diffusion through the vegetative pathway,
From the investigation conducted by ISPRA (Alonzi et al. 2009), among activities responsible for diffusion ability to use local pollinators,
of alien invasive species, there also emerge agriculture, horticulture, forestry and management of green phase displacement in phenology compared to autochthonous species, allowing them to avoid com-
areas, with reference both to deliberate and accidental actions (cultivating plant species, exotic species petition,
for biological control, nurseries, reforestation, forest improvements, actions in gardens and public green marked resistance to illnesses and parasites.

54 55

These characteristics are often at the basis of the success of many garden plants and therefore it can In the first of conservation arising directly or indirectly from human activities (e.g. small
happen that these are predisposed to become invasive (Dehnen-Schmutz et al. 2007). The families to position among population, impairment of reproductive success, fragmented habitat, de-
which most invasive species belong are Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Lamiaceae, Legumino- threats to gradation of water quality), but the distinction between threat and stress
sae and Poaceae among herbaceous plants (Heywood 1989) and Rosaceae, Leguminosae, Myrtace- biodiversity in conditions is often ambiguous. The same authors include, however, as
ae, salicaceae, Oleaceae and Caprifoliaceae among woody ones (Reichard 2000). the world is direct threats all sources of invasive species, pollutants and causes of
According to Celesti Grapow et al. (2009), invasive plants are a subgroup of naturalized plants that invasion by alien adverse weather, even when these sources are often unknown and
disperse spores/seeds in great abundance at a considerable distance from the mother plant and there- species complex. They also highlight the difficulty of distinguishing between
fore can spread over large surfaces. According to Richardson et al. (2000) this distance is >100 metres direct and indirect threats. In various rankings in the first place among
in a time span of <50 years for species spreading by seeds and other propagules, while it is 6 meters the threats to global biodiversity we find invasion by alien species.
within 3 years for species that spread by roots, rhizomes, stolons, or creeping stems. This threat, whose cost for Europe has been estimated at over 12 billion
IUCN clearly distinguishes invasive non-native/alien/exotic species - and the damage caused by these, euro a year, has been the subject of numerous publications, but only a few have considered the
introduced both intentionally and accidentally by man in the last 10,000 years - from problematic native source role of crops and the fact that 80% of invasive alien plants currently in Europe were introduced
species that spread and become superabundant. In the latter case an accurate assessment is neces- as agricultural or ornamental plants (Hulme 2007).
sary according to criteria that are still being discussed at an international level. Some authors describe
this threat referring it to plants and animals that are found outside their natural range of variation) and 4.5.2 CODES OF BEHAVIOUR, LEGISLATION AND GOOD AGRICULTURAL
including the possibility of hybridization of native plants with other plants. PRACTICES
Generally limited, but locally accentuated, are phenomena of indiscriminate harvesting of plants or their Of particular importance for application is the Code of behaviour in Horticulture compiled by Heywood
parts (tops in bloom, foliages, seeds, etc.) in the wild state destined for cultivation or directly for commer- and Brunel (2011) in collaboration with the Council of Europe and the Organization for the Protection
cial exploitation, for ornamental purposes; among the examples in the European sphere we find species of European and Mediterranean plants (EPPO). Precisely the latter organization has compiled gui-
of the genera Galanthus (e.g. snowdrop), Narcissus, and Cyclamen. Situations of this type have also delines for analysis of the risk from invasive plants (Figure 12) and listed the standard international
been significant in different regions of our country, sometimes in contrast with the regulations in force. measures to adopt for combating the phenomenon (EPPO 2006, 2011, 2012a, 2012b).
Among the consequences of these harvests we can include genetic impoverishment when the object No less important is the more recent example of a code of good practices to prevent the introduction
collected is rare and grows in a small area. and diffusion of alien species in agriculture compiled by the Agency for the Environment of Northern
The categories of threat worked out by IUCN, previously listed, are used by the principal organizations Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the same country (Kelly, 2012). As for other
for the maintenance of biodiversity, among which The Nature Conservancy, BirdLife International, similar examples previously worked out on other continents, this is a code of self-regulation based
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), but they are little known on the collaborative will of growers, importers, planners of gardens and gardeners, both professional
in the production sectors and among the professional bodies that deal with territorial and amateur, developed in application of European Directives or Regulations - Dir. 2000/29/ CE Me-
planning and economic development. asures of protection against the introduction in the European Union of organisms harmful to plants
Though not yet consolidated, there are various projects and examples of va- or to plant products and against their diffusion; Reg. 338/97/CE and 1808/2001/CE, related to the
lorisation of wild species for ornamental purposes. Among these we can Projects exist Protection of wild species of flora and fauna through control of their commerce; Dir. 43/92/ EEC
consider the REVFLOR project, aiming at studying production, variety and that valorise wild Habitats - and international conventions like the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), the Interna- tional
economic aspects linked to diversification and introduction of product in- species Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), the Convention on the International Trade of Threatened species
novation in floriculture by recovering and valorizing the native and natu- for ornamental of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITEs) and the Ramsar Convention for the conservation of wetlands of in-
ralized patrimony. Conducted between 2006 and 2010 by 7 research purposes ternational importance.
centres (among which CRA-FSO and IRF in Sanremo, now involved in The fight against invasive species constitutes objective 5 of the European strategy for Biodiversity,
LIFE SUMFLOWER ), coordinated by AGROINNOVA of the University of adopted in May 2011 (European Commission 2011). Within 2020 the plan is to identify and classify in
Turin, it focused on different plants, among which Pancratium maritimum, Li- order of priority invasive exotic species and their vectors, to contain or eradicate the priority species,
monium spp., Campanula spp., Daphne spp., Tulipa spp., Cistus spp., Euphorbia to manage the vectors to prevent the introduction and settlement of new species. Immediately this
ligustica, Eryngium spp., and Verbascum spp. Some of these are of particular importance for conserva- strategy includes the strengthening of the plant health and animal health regimes of the European
tion and/or of phyto-geographic interest. However, the potential impact - negative or positive - of their Union, the creation of a specific tool for invasive exotic species and the development of a specific
cultivation on the wild population has not been considered according to the criteria normally adopted in legislative tool. This tool is currently being prepared by the European Commission and should be
impact studies because it was beyond the scope of the project and because these are niche growing adopted within 2013.
types, but also because almost everywhere in this connection there is not an adequate custom within A consultation conducted in 2012 underlined the scarce awareness of the problem in Italy. The
the productive sectors of agriculture (Shine 2005). number of answers from Italian citizens and institutions was exceptionally low in comparison to Great
The impacts indicated above can be considered as threats related to disturbing actions or as threats Britain and other countries as spain, Belgium, Germany, Holland and France. Answering the question
that lead to stress conditions (e.g. induction of reduced water availability or high concentrations of toxic on what could be done to limit the escapes of ornamental plants from gardens for species not subject
substances). According to Salafsky et al. (2008) stress is the attribute of impairment of an objective to commercial limitations, 44% believe that it is necessary to have a mandatory information system,

56 57

40% believe that such a system must be on a voluntary basis, Compendium (CABI 2013), by the Global Invasive species Information Network (GISIN, 2004); in the
To limit the spread and only 12.5% believed that safety is already currently gua- European Mediterranean area (countries adhering to the European and Mediterranean Plant Protec-
of invasive species, ranteed. tion Organization) by the portal of EPPO, which provides above all data on plant enemies, but also on
producers, suppliers, The DAISIE database of invasive species (2013) lists invasive plants (http://www.eppo.org/DATABASES/databases.htm); at a European level by the portal
dealers and buyers should 10,822 non-native species for Europe, 10-15% of of the project Delivering Alien Invasive species Inventories for Europe (DAISIE 2013); for central-nor-
1) avoid further spreading which are expected to have an economic impact or thern Europe and the Baltic regions by the portal of the European Network on Invasive Alien species
of species known ecological impact. (NOBANIS 2013); in Italy by Celesti Grapow et al. (2009; 2010).
to be invasive The same source lists, among the top 100 worst 2) Meticulously respect the regulations relating to pest management and particularly on the
2) scrupulously respect invasive alien species on the European continent, measures of protection against the introduction and diffusion of organisms harmful to plants and plant
regulations 19 higher plants (Acacia dealbata, Ailanthus altis- products in the European Community (Directive 2000/29/EC and subsequent modifications and in-
on pest management sima, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Carpobrotus edulis, tegrations; GU L 169 of 10.7.2000, implemented by the Ministerial Decree of 4/08/2001 and by its
Cortaderia selloana, Crassula helmsii, Echinocystis subsequent modifications).
lobata, Elodea canadensis, Fallopia japonica, He- These restrictions relating to commercial relationships and to the holding of products specify:
dychium gardnerianum, Heracleum mantegazzianum, quarantine organisms;
Impatiens glandulifera, Opuntia ficus-indica, Oxalis pes- plants whose importation is forbidden;
caprae, Paspalum paspaloides, Prunus serotina, Rhododendron ponticum, Robinia pseudoacacia, the requisites for some plants to be introduced;
Rosa rugosa), a bryophyte (Campylopus introflexus), three fungi (Ophiostoma novo-ulmi, Phytophtho- the plants that must compulsorily be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate for importation from
ra cinnamomi, Seiridium cardinale) and various animal species and micro-organisms of phytosanitary third countries or by a plant passport to be able to circulate inside the EU.
concern. In Italy we must also mention the preceding Ministerial Decree of 31 January 1996 on phytosanitary
The first recommendation is therefore to: control and the Ministerial Decree of 23 October 1987 and its subsequent modifications (particularly
know with certainty the name and characteristics of the species that one intends to introduce, keep, the Ministerial Decree of 2 July 1991 289 and decree-law 19/08/05 no. 214) whereby nursery produc-
cultivate and deal in; tion can be submitted to voluntary certification. This certification is also regulated by other decrees for
know to the best the environment conditions and the characteristics of the territory in which one operates different cultivation typologies (olive, vine, drupes etc.). Further, there are various decrees that impose
or intends to operate; obligatory combating of specific harmful organisms. Altogether the corpus of the regulations is complex
know the regulations that endeavour to reconcile economic development with respect for the environ- and unfortunately it often needs a univocal interpretation, which it is not easy to determine.
ment. In Liguria the subject of plant pest management is disciplined by Regional Law 6/2005 and by decree-
The second recommendation is full application of and respect for such regulations considering both law 19/08/05 no. 214. With reference to floriculture, it is important to stress what it says in the expla-
deliberate and possible unintentional actions and accidental consequences. It would also be desirable natory note of the Regional Phytosanitary service of Liguria relating to the application of the Ministerial
to go beyond the regulations and adopt behaviours inspired by the principle of precaution, including Decree of 31.1.1996.
careful preventive risk assessment for the environment; such behaviours blended with respect for the
regulations almost always contribute to protection of the cultivations themselves, guaranteeing greater Among others, the following must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of their origin:
safety for economic conditions and for human health. For a better and more lasting result it is essential to plants destined for plantation (live plants with earth, live plants with bare roots, tubers, bulbs, rhizomes,
add to correct behaviour of single people collaboration between the different people involved in produc- scions, etc.) to the exclusion of seeds, coming from third countries;
tion, in commerce and in conservation of plants. It would also be important to have formal agreements aquarium plants, coming from third countries;
among operators and the institutions with a serious commitment to avoiding keeping and spreading cut flowers of Orchidaceae from Thailand;
invasive plants and sick plants and illegal commerce of threatened species by certifying ones own seeds of Heliantus annuus (sunflower), Prunus, from third countries;
products. The present EEC regulations, particularly those that discipline the protection of nature and the seeds of Cruciferae (cabbage, etc), Graminaceae (darnel, wheat etc) and of Trifolium spp. from
health of plants and animals, the regime of waters and commercial exchanges, constitute a partial and Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Chile, New Zealand and Uruguay;
indirect solution to the problem of invasive species. Unfortunately, an entirely consistent and harmonized parts of plants (e.g. cut flowers and other items in the glossary), to the exclusion of fruits and seeds,
approach does not yet exist on the part of both the countries of the European Union and of the bordering of Dendranthema (chrysanthemum, excluding daisy), Dianthus (carnation), Pelargonium (geranium),
countries for controlling invasive species and watching over their repercussions on biodiversity, though Phoenix (palms), Prunus (e.g. cherry, etc.) from non-European countries;
different programmes are being worked on. earth and growing soil, including peat alone, adhering to or associated with plants from Turkey, Bye-
To limit the diffusion of invasive species, producers, suppliers, dealers and buyers should harmoniously, lorussia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and non-European countries excluding
each for his/her own part, enact the following behaviours. that coming from Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Libya, Malta, Morocco and Tunisia; h) earth and growing soil as
1) Avoid further diffusion of species known to be invasive. Essential information on this threat is such (not associated with plants) from third countries of continental Europe and from Cyprus, Egypt,
given at a world level by the GIsD-Global Invasive species Database of the Invasive species spe- Israel, Libya, Malta, Morocco and Tunisia. Peat can be imported from all countries without phytosani-
cialist of the IUCN species survival Commission (IUCN-IssG 2013), by the Global Invasive species tary checks.

58 59

Prevention of the spread of alien species and organisms causing plant diseases in the commercial phases
also represents the best method to reduce the environmental impact deriving from products employed in
The plant does not A.1 Is the plant species known to be alien
in all or significant part of the area under the fight against plant enemies. It is therefore necessary:
NO assessment? to correctly dispose of refuse and waste material (also considering the possible presence of
To create a clear overview of all invasive alien plants in the area under assessment

NO YES fragments of invasive plants and mosses like, for instance, Fallopia japonica and Heracleum mante-
NO A.3 Is the plant known to
be invasive outside the area
A. 2 Is the plant species established in at before introducing a new plant, to conduct accurate scientific screening of the potential
least a part of the area under assessment?
under assessment? NO invasiveness (cf. Table 9 and EPPO 2011).
YES to provide effective alternatives to invasive plants, helping to direct the market towards
Describe this area and the threatened area
less problematic species from the environmental point of view. To promote with customers the
A.4 Based in ecoclimatic YES
conditions, could the species
A.5 How high is the spread potential of the plant? use of non-invasive plants in the gardening and in the management of public green.
establish in the area under Describe the endangered area to know what you are purchasing: it is important to inform and to be informed. It is also important
Low Medium
to have a plant identification service for operators in the sector and for this purpose the university bo-
A.6 How high is the potential negative impact tanical vegetable and other gardens and the main public research centres in the sector have always
of the plant on native species, habitats and shown a high degree of reliability in this service.
ecosystems in the endangered area under Low List of minor List of minor List of minor
assessment? concern concern concern to provide indications for disposal: it is necessary to make clients aware of the need to dispose
A.7 How high is the potential negative impact of plants and their vital parts in a responsible way, to guide them on correct composting and to make
of the species on agriculture, horticulture List of minor Observation Observation
and forestry in the endangered area under
concern List List them aware of any legal obligations.
assessment? to label plants in a clear and specific way so that you know what you sell, purchase, grow.
A.8 Does the species have additional impacts High
Observation Observation List of invasive to promote environmental respect through a code or recognition hallmark for plants that
List List alien plants
in the endangered area under assessment? are certainly not invasive and potentially invasive ones, avoiding as far as possible selling the latter.
he highest score to one of the three questions should be taken, but additional impacts (Q A.8) cannot be taken as the highest impact on their own to adopt the fittest techniques to avoid the introduction and accidental diffusion of po-
tentially invasive plants: to isolate the cultivations of new ones in relation to the others present in
the same place; to employ safe growing means (sterilized, disinfested) from shoots of invasive or pa-
NO B.1 Is the plant species internationally traded or are
there other existing or potential international
thogenic plants; clean/disinfest utensils and machineries employed in soil movement; isolate deposits
pathways? of earth from possible contaminations.
To identify invasive alien plants for which a PRA should be performed

YES List the pathway(s)

EPPO B.2 Is the risk of the introduction by these
standard international pathways identified to be superior to To conclude this chapter, it seems appropriate also briefly to mention
NO natural spread? another aspect that deserves much more study. plants to grow it
and national YES It would be appropriate would be desirable to consider and evaluate these, on wildli-
measures B.3 Does the plant species still have a significant
(PM9) area suitable for further spread in the area under to privilege the cultivation fe actually or potentially involved in relations with cultivated
assessment? of species giving honey, plants, with particular reference to minor fauna participa-
Small Medium High which support bees ting in different stages of the reproductive biology of plant
and butterflies, species. It is undeniable that there are many animals
which are helpful to that have been adversely affected by loss of natural/
Not a priority Priority for PRA
for PRA
Lower priority
for PRA
agriculture and to semi-natural habitats and the general reduction in the
the life cycle of cultivated level of biodiversity within and between different birds
and wild plants and insects. In this context, without impairing the prio-
rity of preventing the spread of invasive alien species
and disease organisms, it would be appropriate to favour
Figure 12. Decision tree summarizing the EPPO prioritization process for invasive alien plants (From EPPO 2012b). beekeeping or at any rate support insect fauna, in particularly
Hymenoptera (bees, bumble bees, etc.) and Lepidoptera, which are
helpful to agriculture and in general to the life cycle of cultivated and wild plants.

60 61

Yes/ References
No Alonzi A., Bertani R., Casotti M., Di Chiara C., Ercole S., Morchio F., Piccini C., Raineri V., Scalzo G.,
Invasiveness Tedesco A., 2009 - Indagine conoscitiva sulle iniziative finalizzate alla prevenzione, monitoraggio e miti-
1 Is the species invasive in its native range? Y/N gazione degli impatti delle specie aliene invasive in Italia. Rapporti ISPRA 91/2009 - 65 pp. http://www.
2 Has it proved invasive outside its native range? (i.e. is it an invasive alien species)? Y/N
3 Is it highly adaptable to different environments? Y/N
Does it have high reproductive potential? (e.g. for weeds; prolific seed production, high germina- CABI, 2013 - Invasive Species Compendium - http://www.cabi.org/isc/
4 Y/N
tion rate, reproduction by rhizomes, tubers, stolons or root/stem fragments). Celesti-Grapow L., Alessandrini A., Arrigoni P.V., Banfi E., Bernardo L., Bovio M., Brundu G., Cagiotti M.R.,
Is it highly mobile locally? (i.e. for weeds, propagules capable of moving long distances by wind,
5 Y/N Camarda I., Carli E., Conti F., Fascetti S., Galasso G., Gubellini L., La Valva V., Lucchese F., Marchiori S.,
water, attachment to machinery, animals or humans).
6 Can its propagules remain viable for more than one year? Y/N Mazzola P., Peccenini S., Poldini L., Pretto F., Prosser F., Siniscalco C., Villani M. C., Viegi L., Wilhalm T.,
7 Does it tolerate, or benefit from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc? Blasi C. (Eds.), 2009 - Inventory of the non-native flora of Italy - Plant Biosystems, 143: 386-430.
Impacts Celesti Grapow L., Pretto F., Carli E., Blasi C., (a cura di) 2010 - Flora vascolare alloctona e invasive -
8 Is it competitive to agricultural and plantation crops or pasture plants? Y/N Casa Editrice Universit La Sapienza, Roma. 208 pp. http://www.minambiente.it/export/sites/default/
Does it cause impacts on ecosystem processes? (e.g. hydrology, sedimentation, fire risk, nutrient
cycling etc.). Commissione Europea, 2011 - Comunicazione della Commissione al Parlamento Europeo, al Consiglio,
Does it adversely affect natural communities? (biodiversity, native populations, endangered or
10 Y/N al Comitato Economico e Sociale Europeo e al Comitato delle regioni. La nostra assicurazione sulla vita,
threatened species) by competition or hybridization (underline one or both).
Does it adversely affect community structure? (e.g. effects on the food chain, elimination or crea- il nostro capitale naturale: strategia dellUE sulla biodiversit fino al 2020 -http://ec.europa.eu/environ-
11 Y/N
tion of a canopy). ment/nature/biodiversity/comm2006/pdf/2020/comm_2011_244/1_IT_ACT_part1_v2.pdf
12 Does it adversely affect human health? (e.g. allergies, effects on water or air quality). Y/N DAISIE, 2013 - Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe - http://www.europe-aliens.org/
13 Does it have sociological impacts on recreational patterns, aesthetics, property values? Y/N
Dehnen-Schmutz K., Touza A., Perrings C., Williamson M., 2007 - The horticultural trade and ornamental
14 Is it harmful to animals? (e.g. poisonous plant parts or vector of animal diseases). Y/N
15 Does it produce spines, thorns or burrs (or other discomfort)? Y/N plant invasions in Britain - Conservation Biology 21: 224231.
16 Is it a host or vector to recognized pests and pathogens of agriculture or forestry etc? Y/N EPPO, 2006 - Guidelines for the management of invasive alien plants or potentially invasive alien plants
Likelihood of entry/control which are intended for import or have been intentionally imported - OEPP/EPPO, Bulletin OEPP/EPPO
17 Is it highly likely to be transported internationally (a) accidentally? (e.g. as a contaminant). Y/N Bulletin 36: 417418.
18 Is it highly likely to be transported internationally (b) deliberately? (e.g. as an ornamental) Y/N
EPPO, 2011 - PM 5/3 (5) Guidelines on Pest Risk Analysis. Decision support scheme for quarantine
19 Is it difficult to identify / detect as a commodity contaminant? (e.g. due to small seed size) Y/N
20 Is it difficult to identify / detect in the field? (e.g. similarities to other species, inconspicuousness) Y/N pests. pp. 44. http://archives.eppo.int/EPPOStandards/pra.htm (consultato in febbraio 2013).
21 Is it difficult/costly to control? (e.g. resistance to pesticides) Y/N EPPO, 2012a - EPPO Technical Document No. 1061, EPPO Study on the Risk of Imports of Plants for
Planting - EPPO Paris. www.eppo.int/QUARANTINE/EPPO_Study_on_Plants_for_planting.pdf
Table 9. Chart for risk assessment of alien/invasive plants.
EPPO, 2012b - EPPO prioritization process for invasive alien plants - OEPP/EPPO, Bulletin OEPP/EPPO
Bulletin 42, 463474.
FAO, 2013 - FAO Glossary of Biotechnology for Food and Agriculture - http://www.fao.org/biotech/
biotech-glossary/en/ (accessed January 2013).
GISIN, 2004 - Global Invasive Species Information Network - http://www.gisinetwork.org (consultato
febbraio 2013)
Heywood V.H., 1989 - Patterns, extents and modes of invasions by terrestrial plants. Chapter 2. In Drake
J.A., Mooney H.A., di Castri F., Groves R.H., Kruger F.J., Rejmnek M., Williamson M. (eds). Biological
Invasions. A global perspective. John Wiley, Chichester.
Heywood V.H., Brunel S., 2011 - Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants - Nature and
environment, 162: 98 pp. www.coe.int/Biodiversity
Hulme P.E., 2007 - Biological Invasions in Europe: Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses.
In Hester R., Harrison R.M. (eds.), Biodiversity under threat issues in enviromental science and techno-
logy -Royal Society of Chemistry. Cambridge 25: 56-80.
IUCN, 2012 - Threats Classification Scheme (Version 3.1) - http://www.iucnredlist.org/technical-docu-
ments/classification-schemes/threats-classification-scheme. (accessed January 2013).

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IUCN- ISSG, 2013 - Global Invasive Species Database - http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/

Kelly, J. 2012. Horticulture code of good practice to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive non-
4.6 The
impact of waste deriving from agricultural
native species. V2.0. Prepared as part of Invasive Species Ireland - www.invasivespeciesireland.com. processes P. Vassallo, C. Paoli

Lucas G, Walters S.M. (eds), 1976 - List of rare, threatened and endemic plants for the countries of
Europe - International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Morges. 4.6.1 DISPOSAL
According to the Italian legislation waste is any substance or object included in the categories in enclo
NOBANIS, 2013 - European Network on Invasive Alien Species - http://www.nobanis.org/About.asp
sure A (at the Fourth Part of decree law 152/06) and which the holder gets rid of or has decided or has
Reichard S.H., 2000 - Screening and monitoring for invasive ability. In Ault J.R. (ed.), Plant Exploration: the obligation to get rid of.
Protocols for the Present, Concerns for the Future. Symposium Proceedings 18-19 march 1999, Chi- Floriculture activities produce different types of waste, from liquid to solid, from dangerous to non-dange-
cago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois. 87 pp. rous, which require specific and diversified treatments.
Reichard S.H., White P.,2001- Horticulture as a pathway of invasive plant introductions in the United As regards dangerous waste, containers of chemical waste (fertilizers and pesticides), and the water used
States. BioScience 51: 1103113. to wash them, as well as expired chemical products, are those that arouse the greatest concerns, together
Rhymer J.M., Simberloff D., 1996 - Extinction by hybridization and introgression - Annual Review of with plant residues that contain parts of them.
Ecology and Systematics 27: 83-109. Other solid waste coming from this activity includes the following:
Richardson D.M., Pyek P., Rejmnek M., Barbour M.G., Panetta F.D., West C.J., 2000 -Naturalization packaging in plastic or cardboard
pots and flowerpots in plastic or earthenware
and invasion of alien plants: concepts and definitions - Divers. Distrib. 6: 93107.
replaced or broken panes from greenhouses
Salafsky N., Salzer D., Stattersfield A.J., Hilton-Taylor C., Neugarten R., Butchart S.H.M., Collen B., Cox
parts of irrigation plant in metal or plastic
N., Master L.L., connor S., Wilkie D., 2008 - A Standard Lexicon for Biodiversity Conservation: Unified parts of electric plant
Classifications of Threats and Actions - Conservation Biology, 22(4): 897-911. plastic covers or mulching
Shine C., 2005 -Overview of the management of invasive alien species from the environmental per- parts of structures (e.g. shades) in wood, metal, metal alloys, plastic
spective. In: IPPC Secretariat. Identification of risks and management of invasive alien species using the disused agricultural equipment
IPPC framework. - Proceedings of the workshop on invasive alien species and the International Plant There are many methods for waste disposal, from the dump to incineration, recovery or recycling. Unfortu-
Protection Convention, Braunschweig, Germany, 22-26 September 2003. nately in most cases the most effective treatments from the environmental point of view are unused because
of the high costs of installation and starting (Getu 2009). Consequently, to today, dumping remains the most
diffused method for the disposal of floriculture waste.
The Australian government believes that the washing and percolation waters deriving from floriculture can
contain high levels of nutrients, pesticides and other chemical substances of varied origin. The government
has published some guidelines for the disposal of such waters affirming that, as they are rich in bactericides,
fungicides and sometimes heavy metals, it is necessary to recycle them as much as possible. If this cannot
be done they have to be collected and stored in impermeable containers or in tubs for evaporation and sub-
sequently taken to an appropriate disposal site distant from every possible sensitive environment (Department
of Water, Government of West Australia, Water Quality Protection 2006).
The same guidelines also recommend using recycling as the preferential method for the disposal of solid wa-
ste (including packing, containers and soil) or at least disposing of them on special sites, distant from sensitive
environments. The Australian government also proposes some guidelines for the limitation of environmental
impacts deriving from horticulture (http://www.horticulturefortomorrow.com.au/librarymanager/libs/14/Guide-
According to the guidelines the first step towards resolving the different environmental problems in the farm
consists in identifying the risk level. For this a simple scheme is proposed for floriculturists, shown in Figure
13. In the same document suggestions are also made for planning a system of waste management that
contemplates some rules and suggestions:
1. Identifying and classifying waste, divided as follows:
a. Inert materials (e.g. metals, glass)
b. Persistent materials (e.g. wood, packing, plastic materials)
c. Biodegradable materials (e.g. paper and cardboard, substrates, hydroponic solutions, vegetation and
waste products)

64 65

improving the quality of the soil. Composting areas must be positioned well away from cultivation areas
to avoid any contamination of the substrate by pathogens.
HIGH RISK One also has to consider the possible impacts deriving from composting like runoff and possible conta-
NO Identify all the possible
Are you able to make a list of the waste sources of waste: mination of surface and other waters.
produced in your farm? oil, metal, paper, glass,
Objects in plastics must be reused several times if possible: this greatly reduces the quantity of dumped
materials. The introduction of plastics revolutionized the world of floriculture: it is used for greenhouses
and structures, pipelines, packing (pots, various containers, etc) and aesthetical embellishment. Larson
YES (1993) claims that floriculture would not have developed so much without the introduction of plastics in
the production cycle.
Clearly this has produced a major increase in waste and consequently it is necessary to pay particular
NO Undertake actions attention to this type of material.
Can any of these be avoided? to minimize, reduce,
reuse 4. Disposal
he disposal of materials should indeed be the last resort, possibly meaning incineration rather than di-
sposal in a dump site.
YES Incineration is often done within the farm: this practice should be avoided, in the first place because the
combustion of certain materials, like for instance plastic materials, can be very harmful for the environ-
ment and man, producing unwanted substances (e.g. dioxin).
HIGH RISK Moreover, disposal of green waste through combustion is forbidden in Italy.
Are you willing to modify the manage- NO Undertake actions
to minimize, Directive 2008/98/EC, implemented with Legislative Decree 205 of 3 December 2010 (art. 13, which
ment of your farm to minimize waste?
reduce, reuse modifies art. 185 of decree law 152/2006) establishes that straw, cuttings and pruned branches, as
well as other natural agricultural or forest material which is not dangerous if not used in agriculture, in
forestry or for production of energy through processes or methods that do not damage the environment
or endanger human health, are to be considered waste and as such are to be treated. since plant re-
LOW sidues are therefore to all intents and purposes waste, burning on-site them is illicit disposal of waste,
RISK punishable under art. 256 of decree law 152/2006. The decree punishes the activity of management of
unauthorized waste, establishing that anyone who carries out activity of collection, transport, recovery,
disposal, commerce and intermediation of waste without the prescribed authorization, registration or
communication can be punished with arrest from three months to one year or with a fine going from two
Figure 13. Specifying the level of risk associated with waste management (From Guidelines for Environmental Assurance thousand six hundred Euros to twenty-six thousand Euros if the waste is not dangerous.
in Australian Horticulture in 2006.

d. Toxic materials (e.g. waste oils, batteries, pesticides, chemical liquids, treated wood)
Once the materials have been identified, it is necessary to classify them on the basis of the quantities pro-
duced and their dangerousness for human health and the environment.
2. Eliminating or minimizing waste
After you have identified and classified the waste it is necessary to set up a plan for the disposal consi-
dering whether their production can be avoided, reduced, replaced by other products with less impact or
whether they can be recycled; they must be used as landfill only if no other possibilities exist. References
It is important to remember that minimizing waste can also have a positive economic impact as reduction
Candolo G., 2006 - Energia dalle biomasse vegetali: le opportunit per le aziende agricole. Agronomica
is implemented through, for example, the choice of products with less packaging, or a longer life time.
4/2006, p. 26-35.
3. Recycling and reusing
Department of Water, Government of West Australia, Water Quality Protection, 2006. Floriculture activi-
Materials can be reused as part of farm management or sent for proper recycling. For example, wood
ties near sensitive water resources. Note. www.water.wa.gov.au/
containers can be repaired rather than thrown away. For this purpose true areas for collection of reusable
materials such as wood and steel can be set up. Materials sent for recycling (paper, oil, glass, wood, Getu M., 2009. Ethiopian floriculture and its impact on the environment: regulation, supervision and
steel) need to be collected and separate in special containers or areas. compliance. Mizan Law Rev. 3(2) http://www.ajol.info/index.php/mlr/article/viewfile/54011/42554
Substrates can be reused while green waste can be used for composting; compost can be used for Larson R.A., 1993. Impact of Plastics in the Floriculture Industry. HortTechnology 3(1), 28-34

66 67



Enrico Farina, Caterina Allera, Carla Dalla Guda, Federico Tinivella, Giovanni Minuto 1.
1.1 Water E. Farina, C. Dalla Guda, C. Allera


The problems about use of water in plant and flower growing are essentially referable to restrictions of
the resource; in floriculture, nevertheless, the quality of the resource is also very important. The fact is
that since determination of the merchantability of almost all flower products is based on more or less
absolute morphological perfection of the product as well as on vigour, luxuriousness, abundance of flo-
wers (characteristics conforming to the expected canons for almost all ornamental products), the use of
checked stress criteria, corresponding to quantity and sub-optimal quality of the water available for the
crop, is to be discouraged. The rationalization of use of the resource in floriculture can be seen in general
as an advanced quality model of the use of the water resource, from which to extrapolate results easily
applicable to agriculture in general. Besides, the quantities of water per surface unit or per unit of orna-
mental product are so high, and so great is the quality requisite, that precisely in ornamental productions
(and partly also horticultural) for years extremely sophisticated growing technologies have already been
developed, like soilless culture on artificial growing media, also with recovery, re-qualification and reuse
of surplus water, after disinfection with technologies acting on a physical and chemical basis, and lately
also on a biological basis.
In the case of these productive processes, fertilizers are administered that are already dissolved in the
water and in any case the practice of fertigation is to be considered consolidated. Hence all rationaliza-
tion of the use of water leads to rationalization of the use of fertilizers.
The reference model proposed for actions of rationalization would be the installation of a closed cycle for
the use of water and fertilizers inside the production system. This closed cycle is separated as far as possi-
ble from the normal water cycle, including that which allows life for the biological complex. With separation
of the cycles it is possible, with appropriate techniques, to modulate the quantities of water used and water
lost in the overall transpiration of the crop, evaporation from the soil, percolation towards the water table,
and the part retained in the tissues of the plant, finally allowing greater efficiency of water use.

70 71

Depending on the production context, due to technical or economic limitations it is not always possi-
ble to act with a real separation of the cycles; nevertheless, resources worked out for improving the Hypothesis of local irrigation
No action automation (simplified model:
efficiency of water use in the reference model can be used in situations that also diverge considerably sensor controller actuators)
from the model.
On the strictly technological plane a definite advancement toward rationalization of irrigation practices
can be obtained by adopting automations based on objective data regarding the availability of water for
the crop, data obtained from sensors suitable for use in real production contexts. In this case the effects
Hypothesis of local automated irrigation for single-user
on the efficiency of water use will be greater in the case of impossibility of adopting a separate cycle (simplified model:
(closed cycle), as happens not only in some ornamental or vegetable production context, but in most of sensor + relay board with transceiver + actuators + dedicated software)
agriculture for plant production. or centralized automation of irrigation for many users
(simplified model:
sensor + relay board with GSM transceiver + actuators +dedicated software)


As a whole the action aims at the objective of the sustainability of the process, including in the concept
2) Information relating to objectives, operational modalities of the technologies involved,
of sustainability both the smaller impact of production processes on the environment and the economic
division of competences, commitment, need to face innovation, opportunities afforded
commitment to face for decreasing the impact on the environment, giving in exchange benefits of varied
The person responsible for the offer of technology must evaluate the desire to make innovation con-
nature to the grower.
crete on the part of the farm and its knowledge and skill potential. Final decisions will be taken on the
The final indications given derive from results of direct action in farms. Each farm was supplied with mi-
basis of a minimum consent to the struggle for innovation, agreed between offer and demand for the
cro-irrigation or drop irrigation making sure that irrigation only took place when necessary
specific innovation.
(efficiency estimated up to 90%). The water distribution network was divided into several sectors
3a) Actions for updating of the irrigation plant to the technology in question (local or cen-
each opened and/or closed by an electrically controlled flow valve, necessary to reach automation.
tralized automation)
The nine pilot floriculture farms involved in the Life + Sumflower project produce:
The actions will include phases of planning, purchase of the materials and commissioning of the
buttercups in cold greenhouse;
assembly work. At the conclusion of the work hydraulic testing will be done, possibly in working
cut foliages in open field or under a shading net;
pressure conditions. The testing will demonstrate both the absence of leaks and the possibility of
daisies and other ornamental crops in pots in open field, with or without shading net;
serving the growing areas most distant from the original irrigation supply point.
rosemary in pots in open field;
cuttinng roses in open field;
buttercups in open field.

1.1.3 PROCEDURES FOR INSTALLING REMOTE-CONTROLLED AUTOMATED No innovation Confirmation of local* automation of
IRRIGATION SYSTEMS recommended irrigation (simplified model, wired)
Below you will find the preliminary evaluations useful to decide an intervention for automatization of irri-
gation in a farm and the necessary procedures for the installation of automated irrigation systems up to
the remote controlled one of the present action; Figure 1 shows the general operating scheme of such
automated irrigation system.
1) Analysis of the specificity of production, technology, resources and available services Confirmation of local* or centralized **
in the farm automation of irrigation (wireless): decision
This is a series of analyses, at the agronomic level, of availability of infrastructures, of materials and
equipments useful to providing an overall diagnosis of the suitability of the farm or the production
unit for the irrigation technology in question; the diagnosis will take into account the attainment
of suitability after updating of the plant (with estimation of the costs); on the basis of the results
of the analysis a possible demotion will be hypothesized from management through centralized
control systems to a local control system (at various technological levels); in some cases the most
reasonable decision could be to avoid any action for automatization with or even without high * All the technology is available within the farm
technology. ** Part of the technology is present within the farm and part outside the farm from a service provider relating to automated

72 73

3b) Actions for updating plant to services and electrically run devices 6) Preliminary configuration for monitoring and management of irrigation
Availability of the electric service will have to be guaranteed at every point where managing devices Such configuration will be handled by personnel with specific agronomic experience on the settings
and actuators of the latter must be arranged, with the necessary voltages and power. This will be of monitoring frequency. It will concern the choice of the set-point(s) and of the modalities of execu-
done on the basis of the design scheme for placing the various elements. The design scheme will tion of the irrigation actions too (distribution strategy, division of the irrigation action into sectors, etc.).
be done by staff with specific experience and technical specialization with respect of specific devi- In the case of advanced systems with dedicated software this personnel can render functional the
ces or the whole set of devices. By way of example, in the case of more modest technical solutions appropriate parameters of monitoring frequency and the appropriate irrigation parameters if they have
on the basis of scheduling of actions a power supply will have to be ensured for programmers/con- ability to use the dedicated software (distribution strategy, division of actions into sectors, choice of
trollers and sensors, as well as actuators (electromechanical pumps and flow valves); in the case of daily time windows devoted to irrigation etc.).
more advanced but local solutions a power supply will have to be ensured for sensors, devices for
electric acquisition of output from sensors, circuit working out and return of the command signal of 7) Final configuration for monitoring and routine management of the software for irrigation
the irrigation, as well as for the set of enactors; in the case of more advanced ones a power sup- Such phase will be handled by personnel with specific agronomic and possibly technological expe-
ply will have to be ensured for transceivers, for units for processing incoming signals/data and all rience related to wireless transmissions and/or the dedicated software.
devices already mentioned at the preceding point. The various devices will be placed at the points An analysis of the response of the plants and of the cultivated soil to the parameters for irrigation
contemplated by the scheme and the lines for supply and transmission of electric signals will be put management inserted at a preliminary level will be accomplished and, in the case of use of wireless
in place. Everything must be done according to electric safety regulations both for the plant served transmission and/or dedicated software, it will be necessary a routine analysis (daily at least)of the
and for the operators employed in it. Final testing relating to the availability of current according to functionality of the system of irrigation management through the software. Depending on the results
the characteristics of voltage and power necessary for the various devices will conclude this phase. of the analysis variations can be suggested or made to the parameters for irrigation management
Sufficient wiring for rational positioning of the sensor/sensors in cultivation must be guaranteed, as working at the moment.
indicated by the agronomic expert.

3c) Actions for GSM service activation (only for centralized automated irrigated or for lo-
cal automated irrigated in relation to some wireless typologies)
In plant solutions contemplating a GSM service an analysis of contract conditions suitable to the
specific traffic demands (on the basis of the monitoring frequency) at the lowest possible cost. This
evaluation will be made appraising the conditions offered by the various telephone traffic managers
at the moment. At the end of the analysis a contract will be chosen. Possible SIM purchases and
contracts will be stipulated by single people responsible for farms or, if necessary, by the supplier
of a centralized service for multiple users.

4) Positioning of sensor(s) in the means (substrates) to be submitted to monitoring

To be handled by personnel with specific experience of the use of sensors in various agronomic

5a) Preliminary configuration for monitoring purposes of the irrigation management sof-
tware (only for advanced systems)
This is a phase of work entrusted to personnel learned in the specific software including the configu-
ration of the parts of the software suited to transmissions through the insertion of specific parameters.

5b-c) Starting the system and monitoring it: instant, short-term and medium-term opera-
tion test
This should happen in phases: a phase, common to every technological solution based on sen-
sors, considers the control of the electrical signal returned by the sensor. Then, in the case of less
evolved systems, playing on the settings for set-points, irrigation can be triggered with possibility of
direcy control of execution on site. In the case of more advanced but local single-user systems,
including wireless technology and dedicated software, irrigation actions will be induced through the
dedicated software by personnel working at the processing unit or by wireless telephony.
Figure 1. Scheme of operation of the system of automated irrigation.

74 75

8) Specific needs Increase in technical knowledge of the production operator. Information necessary to plan
They can include options of more sophisticated management: irrigation management through a larger irrigated automation and, in general for the automation of cultivation process.
number of data by sensory monitoring, either of the same type (e.g. more water content sensors for the Approach to knowledge of new modalities of data transmission and transmission networks
same irrigation sector), or of a different type (e.g. water content and temperature); alternation of irrigation
Possibility of forming associations for sharing interests and objectives. Further reduction
and fertigation; etc. For insertion of more sophisticated irrigation managements parameters it will be
in service costs for monitoring and automation; assistance by qualified personnel able to give agro-
best for the production operator to consult specialized technicians.
nomic and technical support.

Rationalization of water use. Irrigation only when it is necessary and at the right time; no water 1.2 Energy saving: photovoltaic G. Minuto, F. Tinivella
stress to the cultivation and minimization of useless water supply.
Rationalization of time use by the side of the grower. More time will be available to the opera- The annual expense for farms located in Liguria having an averagesurface of 10,000 m2 can vary
tor for other activities because a rational irrigation management has been delegated to the technology between 5,000 and 30,000 Euros, depending on the type of plant installed and on the presence of cold
of the system. In addition it will be possible remote information related to irrigation status in the farm rooms used to store products before sale. Part or all of such expenses can be supplied through the
and eventual actions (from fixed or mobile station). exploitation of renewable energy sources.
Increased possibility of managing the production process. The possibility of integrating the
system with other sensors (temperature of air, soil, water; humidity; light) will contribute to a better
management of the growth conditions for the plants. The same technological system will increase the
Two possibilities of use of the electric energy produced exist:
possibilities of automation of the production process in the farm (thermal regulation with opening of
hatches of the greenhouse, actions for heating or cooling; regulation of shading, etc.). sale
on-site exchange


The sale of energy consists in the transfer to the grid of surplus energy in relation to the immediate
1/2 general analyses for
managerial innovation, consumptions by users. The sale of energy is worthwhile when the electric energy produced by the
decisions photovoltaic plant is superior to that consumed by the user(s). The sale of electric energy produced by
photovoltaic is not compatible with on-site exchange. In the case of transfer or sale of photovoltaic
3a/b planning and 3c specialist part for organization of electric energy, it is necessary to stipulate an agreement and to attribute to the electricity supplier the
execution of hydraulic wireless service services coverage of administrative costs + 0.5% of the exchange value of the energy taken and invoiced. The
and electrical works energy produced by photovoltaic plant in Italy is purchased by the electricity supplier GsE spA (Gestore
dei servizi Elettrici).
4 specialist part for
organizational of sensors On-site exchange
On-site exchange is a particular form of self-consumption on the production site that allows electric
5a configuration of the 5b/c system start energy to be collected at a different time than that of production. In practice the grid is used as a system
dedicated software and testing of accumulation. The electricity supplier is the provider of the exchange account contribution that is
disbursed quarterly. The consumer regulates with a single body, the electricity supplier, all his or her con-
tractual relationships, being able to compensate for the energy input and collected in economic terms.
6/7 preliminary and final
software configuration for
irrigation management
In a protected environment light is a critical and limiting factor for most cultivated species alongside
8 advanced irrigation management others like temperature or relative humidity (stanghellini and Heuvelink, 2007). In the last few years, the
new opportunities afforded by the energy market, the incentives related to the realization of photovoltaic

76 77

installations, as well as the progressive reduction in the purchase costs of most photovol- taic materials
Venlo iron-glass Multi-tunnel with
(Photon, 2011, Danny et al., 2009) have favoured the realization of photovoltaic plant on the roofs of gre-
greenhouses rigid cover
enhouses or totally or partially replacing them (Bit spA, personal communication). The acceleration of the
market has brought out problems of cohabitation between electric and agricultural production, in com- Large wide iron-glass
Tunnel with rigid
petition with the same source of energy, as already noticed in the recent past (Parker, 1991 and Yano et greenhouses with glass frame
600 mm
al., 2005). The biggest problem that planner and agricultural entrepreneur have to face is the light inside
Large wide iron-glass
the greenhouse and therefore the form and size of the cones of shadow that the photovoltaic panelling Multi-tunnel with
greenhouses with glass frame
projects on the soil. Consequently it is fundamental to know the quantity of photosynthetically active flexible cover
800 mm
radiation that reaches the crop, the choice of which cannot depend solely on the limiting conditions set Large wide iron-glass
Tunnel with flexible
by the photovoltaic plant, but also on the real interest that that crop has for the market and on the quality greenhouses with glass frame
of the product obtained (kozai et al., 1999, stanghellini and Heuvelink, 2007). The evolution of the ma- 1200 mm
terials and even more the legislation imposed for access to the forms of incen- tive (energy account)
Venus greenhouses Shading tunnels
have produced gradual change in the photovoltaic installations on greenhouses and the very form of the
protected structures on which they are installed. There has been a transition from structures deliberately
created for photovoltaic plant with roofs with single or double pitches 100% covered by darkening pho- Greenhouses that can be
totally uncovered
tovoltaic panels to plant that is more and more attentive to the requirements of agricultural cultivations
and the fruit of integrated planning between builders of greenhouses and producers of photovoltaic pa-
nels. This type of planning is currently leading to the creation of greenhouse structures that are brighter Riviera glasshouses Shading nets
than those available on the market and has introduced efficient solutions for the circulation of air and the
cooling of photovoltaic panels, down to the realization of photovoltaic panels that are modular with the
Table 1. Types of greenhouse present in the Mediterranean basin. The big variety of structures, accessory plants and
roof structures of the greenhouse, with rapid and safe assemblage and also integrable on structures possible species cultivable in a protected environment renders necessary for photovoltaic the standardization of products
for shades (Minuto, 2010). summing up, creating double attitude greenhouses, i.e. ones able at the (panels) and of the accessory plants, making integrated planning of the structures created from scratch necessary and ca-
same time to host horticultural productions, flower production, and ones that are at any rate agricultural reful evaluation of the strategies of adaptation of the existing products to structures already created and not standardized.
(mushroom beds, etc.) is much more complex and onerous and imposes a multifactor approach:
identification of the core business (electric, or agricultural);
choice of the type of accessory plant for the structure; PLANT
identification of the type of crop or crops; The results show that there were no problems of quantitative and qualitative reduction in productions of
choice of the PV material to be employed; plant species in photovoltaic greenhouses down to the limit of the 10-15% reduction of the PAR (equal
choice of the density of cells to be distributed; to around 30% of the incoming total radiation in the protected environment). Above this degree of cove-
market investigation for placing productions. rage, only some plant species can be produced, down to a limit of PAR cut that has not yet been clearly
The complexity of the approach is also linked to the manifold typologies of greenhouses present in the identified, but is presumably about 50-60%. Cultivation in an environment that is at least partially shaded
Mediterranean basin, which, as visualized in Table 1, condition the layout and the planning of photovol- seems to have increased infections of oidium, a pathogen that benefits by reduced intensity of bright-
taic plant. ness and, above all, high environmental humidity. From the point of view of the production of electric
CeRSAA is committed to giving answers to agricultural farms that energy, the factor limiting the efficiency of the panels is the exposure of the greenhouse and, accordin-
express the need to integrate agricultural income with that de- gly, the orientation of the plant as a whole. The total radiation cut, and particularly of the PAR, is felt by
riving from the sale of photovoltaic energy. The objec- tive of The annual energy most crops inside photovoltaic greenhouses. In some cases alterations are limited to light prematurity of
the experimental work was to understand up to what point it expense in Ligurian farms flowering, rather than moderate extensions of the internodes, or a reduction of the biomass produced; in
is possible to reduce the incoming radiation inside protected with a medium surface other cases, the dissimilarity of production among cultivated plants appears serious in areas constantly
structures without jeopardizing the quality and quantity of the area is 5,000-30,000. affected by direct solar radiation and those cultivated under the pitches of the roof completely filled with
underlying agricultural productions, with the purpose of re- Hence photovoltaic totally darkening photovoltaic panels.
specting the spirit that must guide the creation of photovoltaic represents a possible The results obtained clearly show the negative effect of photovoltaic panelling on different crops when it
greenhouses: integrating agricultural income with an additional integration is placed in a continuous and totally darkening way on one of the two pitches of the roof, thus occupying
income, making protected cultivations economically sustainable of agricultural income 50% of the covering of the greenhouse. By contrast, the same value of interception of solar radiation
and allowing investment of part of the added value in the maintenan- is well tolerated by many species, when the cones of shade projected by the panels on the earth, and
ce and renovation of the structures themselves. therefore on the crops, are small and rapidly-moving as a consequence of the movement of the sun
relative to the earth. This effect is particularly evident in the case of panels in which the silicon cells ar

78 79

distanced from one another, or in the case of amorphous photovoltaic material (CIS and CIGS) placed
in strips, or inside glass cylinders distanced from one another. Regarding the latter, the main obstacle to CROPS 50% PIPE COVERAGE
their industrialization and use in the agricultural field too is the cost of the finished product, often higher
because of the higher production costs and the reduced sales volumes in comparison to silicon. This
Courgette No Yes Yes
was one of the principal causes of the suspension of production of CIGs in cylindrical panels from so- Lettuce Yes (differences in prod.)* Yes (cycle reduction) ^ Yes (cycle reduction) ^
lyndra, an innovative American industry, in a market phase in which the sale price of the silicon cell was Lettuces to cut Yes (differences in prod.) * Yes (cycle reduction) ^ Yes (cycle reduction) ^
greatly reduced. The different growing behaviour of species cultivated in photovoltaic greenhouses, as Strawberry No (high diff.) ** Yes Yes
well as the different behaviour of some plant parasites discussed in a previous work (Minuto et al. Tomato No (high diff.) ** Yes Yes
2010) points to the need to adapt plant techniques and in particular the density of plant, of nutrition, of Flowers
irrigation, of use of growth regulators and of pest management. Cyclamen No Yes Yes
Yes (slight. Internode leng-
As regards planning agricultural production, the choice of the crop depends on the quantity of light avai- Yes (slight. Internode lengthening
Chrysanthemum No thening and anticipation of
lable in a greenhouse, but also on the capacity of the market to absorb it (Eurostat Agriculture Database), and anticipation of blossoming^
blossoming) ^^
without forgetting that it is necessary to introduce on the market productions that, from the qualitative Poinsettia No Yes (delay of flowering) ^^^ -
point of view, are entirely comparable with the current ones. It follows that photovoltaic on the greenhou- Daisy No Yes Yes
se cannot represent a substitution of agricultural income but an integration of it. Rosemary No Yes Yes
In relation to the numerous tests carried out at CeRSAA and the observations made during investigations Sage No Yes Yes
in photovoltaic greenhouses, carried out in some Italian regions, one can attempt to offer a summing-up Green plants Yes (partial shading) Yes (shading necessary) Yes (shading necessary)
table (Table 2) in which to point out, in relation to the photovoltaic covering on greenhouse roofs, what
Table 2. Summary of the results of the experimental trials carried out on the cost of the experimental tests and the produc-
crops can be cultivated in a profitable way, or are able to provide productions meeting the quality stan- tion surveys carried out by CeRSAA in photovoltaic greenhouses.
dards required by the market.
Evaluations carried out on crop cycles with 3-5 month duration in the conventional production period, with Mediterranean
climate, cold greenhouse, with adoption of average growing techniques for the area of Albenga.
* Very evident difference in plant production between the portion of greenhouse constantly shaded and the portion of gre-
1.2.4 FACTORS ADVERSE/FAVOURABLE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF PHOTO- enhouse partially exposed to direct solar radiation. Part of the production is not saleable.
VOLTAIC ** Very evident difference in plant production between the portion of greenhouse constantly shaded and the portion of
greenhouse partially exposed to the direct solar radiation.
^ The reduction in the PAR, though modest, causes a more rapid relaxation of the leaf lamina of the plants, which can be Factors adverse to the development of photovoltaic deceptive and cause this development to be identified with a more rapid completion of the crop cycle.
Present dependence on public incentives; ^^ On chrysanthemums (short-day plant), the flowering is early in comparison to the normal behavior of the species and
uncertainty on rates and power that can be incentivized in the medium period; there is a slight extension of the internodes.
^^^ On poinsettia a slight PAR reduction constantly induced a certain delay in flowering near the period of sale, an intere-
lack of widespread culture in support of FERs; sting effect for a greater duration of the plant in an apartment.
scarce information on the technology; The particular light needs of many so-called green plants for apartments makes them cultivable in photovoltaic green-
relative difficulty of finding competent operators; houses, where, in many cases, it is necessary to increase the shading, particularly in areas where the photovoltaic covering
allows direct solar radiation to filter through.
offer not always geared to the needs of applicants;
scarce attention to the energy and environmental aspects in the planning of building structures;
investment of high initial capital; Aspects favourable to the development of photovoltaic
expensive projects and with opportunities of acquisition of money with banking farms; Favourable international context (EU commitments - Kyoto protocol);
difficulty of realization of domestic plants in the case of realization on condominiums; widespread diffusion of the solar energy source ;
thefts of photovoltaic modules (around 5% of installations and consequent increase in insurance energy independence;
premiums); fair return times and economic outputs of the project;
relationship not always easy with developers/banks; prevision of further measures for bureaucratic simplification, above all for diffused generation
uncertainties on the additional costs due to public corporations (compensation onuses, specific (dedicated withdrawal and on-site exchange);
agreements with local bodies, onuses for the purchase of authorizations); business innovation (diversification, restructuring);
uncertainties linked to obtaining authorizations to install plant (health authority, building permission, image benefits (for farms);
photovoltaic greenhouses, VIA, etc.); environmental benefits increasing attention to energy/environment issues;
use of soils that are not always residual (industrial, agricultural quality, etc.); minimal maintenance;
disposal of photovoltaic products at the end of their life; fiscal facilitations for farms;
excess of legislation but at the same time lack of guidelines, awaited since 2003; exploitation of areas and energy sources not yet used;
lack of a suitable electric grid for creation of installations for putting in energy. substantial reliability of the technology;

80 81

stability and ample offer of insurance products; energy sources of <1,000 kW, the authority determines each year the value of the guaranteed minimum
guarantee given by credit transfer; prices for energy. The service is paid for by the electricity supplier for renewable energy plants (and
ample offer of financial products. non-renewable up 10 MVA). Unlike on-site exchange, the value of the energy fed into the grid does not
include onuses for network manage- ment, and therefore the price paid for the transfer is always less
than the purchase price (approximately one-third less).
Though many years have passed since the opening of the first Conto Energia and, even before, this The procedures summary
technology has been available on the market for over 30 years, the photovoltaic sector in the agricultural
field suffers from the lack of an integrated production chain, i.e. a network among farms and professio-
nals able to offer continuous solutions to evaluation of needs, checking of problems, obtaining product, INSTALLATION PROCEDURES
installation, connection to the grid, maintenance and management of worn-out materials.
It is only recently, also thanks to the activities of CeRSAA, the commitment of MiPAAF and some in-
dustries producing greenhouses and photovoltaic systems (e.g. Gome Ltd, Ferrania solis spa) that Preparation
commitments have been made and scenarios have been traced out of integrated design that will soon of project
lead to a prototype of an entrepreneurial approach allowing farms to build plant in the presence of one
or a few partners, with clearly defined times for design, construction, connection to the grid and start of D.I.A., if you do not need any Electrical
production. authorization project prepared
by qualified
If you need permission from
given by the latter Request to
Managing Body
The main administrative procedures and the types of agreement with the management of the electric for approval of the
If permissions are requi- project
grid are briefly described and graphically illustrated below. red from different public
administrations you have to On-site exchange activate the single procedure Preliminary
consisting in the services investigation
This procedure makes it possible to put in the grid the energy produced and not immediately consumed conference regulated by (conformity Existing
and to take it back later for ones own consumptions. Art.14 of law 241/1990 and of project to contract
subsequent modifications Managing Bodys
Mechanism: rules)
the energy taken from the grid is debited in the bill by the energy provider Meter
the value of the energy put in the grid is refunded by the electri-
city supplier Evaluation of any Business
Times: 2-12 months plant modifications
The value refunded by the electricity supplier includes the value network
of the energy (calculated bearing in mind the time slots) and Costs of procedures:
1,200 to 2,500 Euros Number of
the onuses of management of the grids that make up the rate
Will allow farms Variations to other plants
in purchase. Access is by plants fed on renewable energy project indicated by
to realize plant Managing Body
sources of nominal power up to 200 kW. The refunded value Type and no.
with clearly defined of inverter
cannot exceed the cost incurred; if this does happen the posi-
times from planning Approval and
tive balance is credited for the following year. In the sphere of on-
to production payment service and
site exchange, the electric energy produced can be remune- rated changes
to economic market conditions for the part put in the grid and in the
limits of the value of the cost incurred for energy consumption.
Execution of installation Dedicated withdrawal
This procedure makes it possible to sell the energy produced with favourable modalities and prices. It
replaces all other contractual obligations (for the sale of energy and commercial use of the grid). The
prices for the withdrawal of energy refer to the electricity market price (time price zone). For renewable Figure 2. Flow chart summing up the installation procedures for a photovoltaic plant.

82 83
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Optimizing resources The authorization dimension Financial

Builder Manager SPV PA Suppliers Insurances
The temporal dimension, i.e. the time period that passes between planning and actual connection of counterparts
the plant, is gradually becoming shorter and is now between 7 and 8 months. The result is shown in Technological and
Figure 3. technical risks


Construction risks

Dura- Month Month Month Month Month Month Month Month

Security risk
Activity tion [g] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
min Max 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Financial risks and
Planning 30 30 pure risks
Authorization green-
Operational risks


house and PV instal- 60 90
lation Country and political


Greenhouse 60 90 risk
Integrated PV plant Risk of environmen-
Authorized as constructive tal damage
element of the greenhouse 0 0
Connection 150 180 Commercial risks
AV 90 90
Authorization of power line 60 90 Permit risks

Figure 3. Example of temporal sequence with connection in average voltage (AV). Legislation risks

An important aspect from the economic point of view concerns the evaluation of the quality of the in- Figure 4. Evaluation chart used in due diligence relating to photovoltaic plants.
vestment as a whole (due diligence). Part of the due diligence for the agricultural sector contemplates
examination, before and after, of the impact of the photovoltaic greenhouse on the agricultural produc 1.2.7 OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS OF PHOTOVOLTAIC GREENHOUSES
tions to be done in it. The project, if well structured, should guarantee the maximum energy independen- A summary will now be made of some observations during tests on cultivation in photovoltaic greenhou-
ce and the best economic yield at the end of the life cycle of the plant. The general chart for evaluation ses and the conclusions to which the experimentation led:
of operational conditions and risks contemplates a series of checks, briefly shown in Figure 4. the 20-30% total radiation cut does not cause significant changes to the qualitative and quantitative
characteristics of the production of many garden and flower species;
It is the banks that, directly or through their advisors, evaluate the risks and the completeness of the the variations in temperature and humidity inside the structures are restrained;
documentation presented, checking, at a planning level: ectophytes (e.g. oidium agents) also attack earlier in slightly shaded environments;
evaluation of the existing state of affairs; for higher shadowing (>50%) and large shades a strong decrease is observed in the quality and
location and state of the places; quantity of production, as well as a decrease in temperatures and an increase in UR, with greater
average radiation; risks of attacks by pathogens;
orientation of the plant; it is important to reduce as much as possible the size of the shadow cones projected on the soil;
possible user consumptions (in the case of self-consumption); it is necessary to proceed to integrated planning leading to the development of a sustainable model
technical check on the project (evaluation of the quality of the materials); of photovoltaic greenhouse keeping in mind the following:
photovoltaic panels and Inverter; - photoactive material:
accessory components of plant and components for connection to the grid; - photovoltaic panel (design, placing, accessory components):
evaluation of expected productivity; - structure of the protected environment (greenhouse, tunnel, shade):
calculations according to UNI norm 10349; - choice, crop management, pest management and crop rotation:
use of specific software (PVGis; sunsim; PVsyst4.36). it is necessary to proceed to serious agronomic experimentation to evaluate photovoltaic projects
Starting from the data regarding the height of the sun in the various periods of the year, provided by the applicable in relation to the type of crops produced;
Italian Atlas of solar Radiation of Enea (www.solaritaly.enea.it), and through application of appropriate it is necessary to ensure the maximum production flexibility of photovoltaic greenhouses, for the
trigonometric formulas, it is possible to establish the incident direct solar radiation for each time of day purpose of protecting farms from possible negative effects of market changes.
and in the various periods of the year, as in enclosure X.

84 85

1.3 Energy savings: wind power G. Minuto, F. Tinivella Small wind turbines
In general small wind turbines have the same specifications as the larger ones, but their limited use
means a higher average cost of nominal power which is about 2,500 3,500 per kW as compared to
1.3.1 THE SUCCESS STORY OF THE MICRO-WIND MACHINE IN SPREADING THE between 800 and 1,000 Euros per kW from medium or large wind turbines, according to the soil surface
USE OF WIND ENERGY where they are installed. The pros of mini-wind machines therefore are:
Wind energy can be exploited not only through wind farms connected to the grid but also by construc- their size;
ting small sized systems. There are many benefits to micro-wind machines: their production capacity;
limited impact on the environment; their practicability: their height is between 3 and 20 metres and they therefore are not so invasive on
economical; the surrounding territory and so do not have the environmental disadvantages which characterize
low maintenance costs; the construction of a wind farm.
easy, well developed, reliable technology. Table 4 shows the specifications of some of the models of small wind machines which are most used
Small size wind machine systems, associated with other renewable energy sources are the ideal so- and the levels of energy production with a wind of average power of 5.4 m/s.
lution for providing an electricity supply both in developing countries and to reach isolated communities.
They can be an alternative to extending the national grid or for local networks (e.g. on small islands). The Italian market for mini wind machines is at the moment quite limited by the lack of adequate incen-
In recent years, among the renewable energy sources (REs), wind power has been the one most de- tives and clear regulations.
veloped at an international level. This greater development of wind energy in comparison with other REs
is without doubt due to the experience and knowledge of the technology involved which guarantees
that the initial investment will be recovered within an acceptable time. Wind energy is amongst the most monthly
economic of the REs, and in general among medium-cost energy sources, as it has lowered its running W nominal power Vcc Weight production
Rotor diameter tower height in
(wind at 12.5 m/s) use tension kg with wind of
costs by 85% in the last 15 years. Currently, the cost of installing a wind machine of medium size with a metres
5.4 m/s kWh
nominal power of between 500 and 750 kW can vary within a minimum of 800 and a maximum of 1,000 400 12-48 1.15 6 3 38
per kW, according to whether we are dealing with a flat, easily accessible, or difficult soil surface. so the 1,000 24-48 2.70 30 9 200
cost of the machine can easily be calculated as between 2/3 and of the total cost of the installation 3,200 24-48 4.50 70 15 500
depending on the characteristics of the soil surface. The use of wind power therefor is fundamental for
reaching the objectives for reducing CO2 the Kyoto Protocol. Table 4. Properties of small wind turbines (Source: Southwest Windpower, USA).

1.3.2 THE WIND MACHINE Different types of wind power generators
Recent developments in the wind energy sector have led to great progress in terms of planning and Further classification on the basis of the technology used could be useful:
constructing more powerful and efficient wind machines. At the moment, the most widespread machi- plants with horizontal axes (two-blades, three-blades, multiple blades. These are the most wide-
nes are medium or large sized with two or three paddles. They are usually in groups and form power spread with technology from large wind power stations. The rotor is placed vertically and turns
sta- tions on land or in the sea (off-shore) for producing grid-connected electrical energy of high or according to wind direction;
medium voltage as part of a programme of incentives for producing electricity from renewable sources. plants with vertical axes. The rotor can have different forms and shapes according to the technical
With regard to the production of energy from a wind machine, they can be classified as in Table 3. specifications of each producer. They are interesting from the point of view of robustness and silence,
although they are generally more costly than the previous type;
a mini wind system connected to the grid has the following components;
Blade diameter in Height of the tower in a support which is usually made of steel fixed into the soil (directly, or more often with a concrete
Size kW power
metres metres foundation) or placed on the tops of buildings. The height of the support is correlated to the power of
Small 0.4-100 1-20 3-20 the plant and can vary from a minimum of 2 metres (small systems with a few hundred watts of power)
Medium 250-850 25-60 25-55 to over 50 metres for systems with 200 kW;
Large 1,000-2,500 55-70 60-100
a turbine, made up of the rotor (the blades) and a compartment containing the mechanical transmis-
sion parts of the motor used by the rotor and electric generator;
Table 3. Classification of wind machines (Source: GWEC).
a generator control system and inverter. That is, the electronic apparatus which manages the rotor-
generator systems in all wind conditions and which brings the electric energy produced into line with
what is required by the grid.

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1.3.3 INSTALLATION MODALITIES AND CHOICE OF LOCATION known for having average wind speeds which are not high. At moderate heights (not more than 25 me-
The decision about locating the turbine must be made by balancing various contrasting factors. On tres), the wind speed is generally between 2 and 7 metres per second. Average annual wind speeds
the one hand, placing it too near the user can cause interference with its functioning (wind interference above the minimum required are more or less restricted to coastal areas, mountains and many areas in
due to the proximity of buildings) as well as problems relating to inevitable noise. On the other hand, the southern central part and the islands.
putting it further away from the user increases the cost of cables and burying the electricity lines as well A more precise indication, but still only an estimate, can be given by studying wind maps of Italy. The
as increasing energy loss. We need to find the right compromise between the two aspects while also Wind Atlas of Italy, produced by ERSE (ENEA Electric Systems Research SpA) can be found on
considering the importance of positioning the machine safely, that is in a place where, even if it should the internet in interactive form on http://atlanteeolico.erse-web.it/viewer.htm. To evaluate a site for the
fall, damage would be limited. There are cases of wind machines being placed on the roofs of houses erection of mini-wind machines with a small output (up to 50kW), it is advisable to use the maps 25 m
(the same situation could be hypothesized for greenhouse plant growing). This is a fairly controversial above the land. However, this evaluation is not always enough to guarantee a correct evaluation of the
method. While the erection may be quite simple, there are problems relating to the vibration of the tur- site in terms of average annual wind speed. Apart from the margins of approximation in these maps,
bine on the structure where it is erected. There is also the turbulence which is created around the roofs the specific features of the site can influence the exact values of the wind speed and therefore of the
and which is a cause of reduction in the power generated. The most common types are still towers, with productivity of the plant. Again as a rough indication, in some cases we can use empirical methods for
rectangular, tubular or steel poles. evaluating the wind resource of a site. Whenever there are evergreens (e.g. conifers) the Griggs-Putnam
method can be used (Figure 5). This is based on a qualitative evaluation of the degree of permanent How wind machines react to wind alteration to the treetops.
Wind strength is measured according to its speed (in metres per second or kilometres per hour). For
an immediate measurement, the Beaufort scale is used to give an indication. Generally, small wind
machines do not react to winds with a speed of less than about 3-3.5 metres per second (about 11- Prevailing wind direction
13 km/h). Once this speed has been reached the blades begin to turn spontaneously and to generate
electricity. However, low wind speeds correlate to the amount of power produced by the machine. For
example, a turbine of nominal power of 1 kW, when the wind reaches the minimum speed to start it up
may only produce a negligible power of less than a hundred watts. As wind speed increases, the machi-
nes output increases even more until it reaches nominal strength of 12-14 metres per second (about
40-50 km/h). Wind speeds above the nominal produce quite limited increases in the electrical power 0 - No alteration I - leaves moved 3-4 m/s II - slight movement of the III - branches move 5-6 m/s
generated because the control systems (electronic and/or mechanical) cut in to reduce the demands branches 4-5 m/s
on the mechanical and electric apparatus. In extreme wind conditions, nearly all wind machines stop to
avoid damage. Considering what was said above, it is necessary to choose a site which is not only able
to set the wind machine generator in motion, but which can also guarantee an average output of energy
generated over time which is enough to justify the initial costs. The data which provide good evaluation
criteria, even though only an indication, are the average annual wind speeds on the site chosen. This is
IV - strong movement of the V - treetops fold over 7-8 m/s VI - branches and tree trunk VII - trees are flattened 10 m/s
a parameter which remains fairly constant over the years and therefore guarantees stability in terms of branches 6-7 m/s bend over 8-9 m/s
the benefits of energy production.

Figure 5. Griggs-Putnam method of evaluating wind speed at a site. Places where installations are possible
With the exclusion of administrative or environmental factors,
the choice of site is quite open. A mini-wind machine plant
can be installed wherever, in the course of a year, the wind It makes good sense to verify that there are no obstacles present (wind, trees etc.) which could influen-
conditions are such as to guarantee adequate functioning Wind energy can be ce the flow of air around the generator. Something is considered an obstacle when it has a negative
and energy production which gives an acceptable sum to maximized using small influence and generates turbulence at a height twice its own height and at a radius of about 20 times its
cover the costs. wind machine plants with own height. So, where there are obstacles whose turbulence the height of the turbine does not exceed,
But how can we choose a site from the point of view of limited impact on the it is advisable to install the plant at a distance of about 20 times the height of the obstacle itself (Figure
whether it will produce a satisfactory amount of energy? As environment and a high 6). Source: Department of Energy, USA). Regardless of the site, we have to consider that the higher the
previously mentioned, we use the average annual wind speed. cost-benefit ratio turbine, the greater the wind speed. In any case, whatever type of investment is to be made it is advi-
It is therefore important to measure this at the exact point and sable to have the most accurate and objective data possible on the wind resources before installing the
height where the mini wind machine will be installed. Sites with plant. Measurements should be taken on site with specific instruments and for an adequate period of
an annual average wind speed of less than 4.5 metres per second time. Using these measurements, it is possible not only to estimate the average annual wind speed but
(about 16km/h) are not generally considered to be worthwhile. Italy is also the prevailing direction of the wind and its distribution curve in relation to the average.

88 89

Fixed costs for connecting rural networks(1) Costs for installing mini wind machines of 400 W(2)

(20% VAT
Expenses Parts (10% VAT excluded)
Distance from electricity
2 2,600 Generator 400 W 1,250.00
switchboard cabin in km
kW power required 3 219.00 Battery post 230 Ah 500.00
Total cost of connection 2,819.00 Sinusoidal inverter 3,000 W 1,350.00
N. B. the cost relating to the distance of the electricity Installation 700.00
switchboard cabin may increase depending on the site. Total plant costs 3,800.00

Table 5. Comparison of costs of connecting rural networks to the grid with 3 kW power for domestic use and the costs of
installing a stand alone wind energy plant of 400 W nominal power (source: processing of ENEL and Prometeo Sistemi,
Sassari data).
: Minimum cost per linear metre of distance from switchboard cabin of connection: 1.30 + VAT; cost per kW of power
Figure 6. Area of influence of obstacles on the wind. required: 73.11 + VAT.
Plant operating on site with an average wind speed of 5.4 m/s, consisting of a 400 W generator installed on a 3-metre
tower, a 1,000 W inverter and a battery post of 230 Ah, for daily consumption of 1.2 kWh or weekend consumption of 2.2
The use of mini-wind machines is very limited in Liguria. There are some isolated cases in parks or in
areas not reached by the national grid. We can say that mini-wind turbines are not an alternative energy
source to combustible fuel in Liguria. Opportunities for producing energy from micro-wind turbines and investment returns The potential market In favour of micro-wind farms is the growing awareness of environmental problems connected to our
The Liguria Region, particularly in coastal areas and mountains, would seem to have the necessary re- development of energy. This new awareness means that every user who is well-informed about possible
quisites for developing a market for mini-wind farms, both for climatic reasons, as Liguria is a region with developments in renewable energy and who has the possibility of doing so can contribute in some small
good wind potential, and for reasons which could be called social, because the inhabited areas parti- way to sustainability. Private households or small businesses (country houses, farms, refuges, isolated
cularly the rural ones are not easily accessible to the grid and in terms of time and money, the cost of domestic users, second houses etc.) can use micro-wind installations for renewable energy instead of
connecting to the public supply would be high. Also the type of business activity, particularly agriculture, traditional power systems. Used in these situations, micro-wind energy is quite advanced in technical,
would benefit from this type of energy. In rural areas with adequate wind levels, mini-wind farms would practical and economic terms. If the average cost of electricity is 0.15 euro/kWh, the investment made
give a valid alternative to traditional electricity sources if we consider that a good part of the electricity can be recovered in about 7 years. This is without taking into consideration any incentives there might be
use is for basic primary needs (water pumps, refrigerators, lighting) typical of farming and scattered vil- for buying turbines and the possibility of net metering. Considering that an installation has an average life
lages. This use could be provided for even by small wind machines with a nominal power of less than of 20 years, there are economic advantages for 13 years. Table 6 shows the technical characteristics
1kW, which are easily installed and relatively economical. In other more complex cases (nurseries), the of a 400 W, 24 Vcc generator and its comparative production capacity in practice.
production of energy with micro-wind machines connected to the grid or linked to solar panels could
significantly reduce reliance on the grid. Micro-wind turbine energy production linked to the grid
Wind energy can be fed into the grid using a system of net metering. This
In Table 5 there is a comparison of the costs of connecting rural areas to the grid with 3kW of power works by using reversible meters which enable the grid to be used as a tank
for domestic use and the costs of installing a standalone wind farm with 400 W of nominal power for the In about 7 years, for storing energy in excess of what is used, so that it can be used by the
production of 38 kWh monthly with an average wind speed of 5.4 m/s. the investment grid when needed. The advantages of net metering for the development of
in a micro-wind micro-wind turbines are the following:
As can be seen in Table 5, installing a mini-wind farm for rural users who use basic services on a daily farm wind energy is intermittent. It may happen that energy is produced when
or seasonal basis is not much more than connecting to the traditional electricity network. The difference is recovered it is not needed or vice versa. Net metering allows the user to sell the electri-
is even less when VAT is taken into account as it is only 10% for the wind machine as opposed to 20% city to the local electricity company at the same price as he buys it;
for connecting an electric meter. We also need to consider the costs of providing electric energy, which the costs of expensive energy storage systems can be avoided;
in the case of a monthly consumption of 38 kWh adds up to about 176.00 including VAT per year for the user does not need to install additional meters.
fixed and variable costs. Another advantage to choosing a mini-wind farm is that connecting to the grid
can involve waiting for over a year.

90 91

Monthly A typical hybrid system is as follows:

W nominal Monthly
Rotor Minimum production one or more renewable energy generators: wind, solar or hydroelectric;
power (with production
Vcc tension diameter in Weight in kg tower height with wind one or more conventional generators;
wind at 12.5 with wind at
metres in metres at 10.2 m/s an appropriate storage system as required: mechanical, electrochemical or hydraulic or an exchan-
m/s) 5.4 m/s kWh
400 24 1.15 6 3 10 38
ge system with the grid where possible;
systems for regulating power: inverters, rectifiers, load regulators.
Table 6. Technical characteristics of a 400 W, 24 Vcc wind generator and its comparative production capacity (Source:
Southwest Windpower, USA).
a system for regulation and checking.

At present, the tendency is to plan hybrid systems in which the renewable sources and storage provide
80-90% of the energy needs, while conventional methods provide 10-20%. Hybrid systems offer a valid
solution for the provision of electricity to areas outside the grid or for reducing dependency on non-
Financial laws decree that the installation of mini-wind plants up to 60 kW may be authorized, in the
renewable sources which are very costly in relation to a businesss production. Applications of hybrid
ab- sence of anything to the contrary, by making a Dichiarazione di inizio Attivit (Declaration of Initiating
Activity - DIA) at the local town hall. If the installation is in a protected area, permission from the compe-
systems for users or communities providing a maximum of 100 kW of power;
tent authorities is necessary (area and park authorities, heritage pest management). some regions have
refit hybrid systems: these are renewable systems installed on local medium voltage networks with
issued regulations about authorization of plants for renewable energy like mini-wind machines which
a power of some MW, aimed at reducing the number of hours the existing diesel generators work
change the national norms. Generally, whenever it is not possible to follow the simplified DIA procedures,
or at saving fuel and reducing polluting emissions or reducing reliance on the national grid.
it is necessary to ask permission for the installation using procedures in Legislative Decree no. 387/03.
The constantly changing economic situation indicates a careful evaluation of current regulations at the
moment when construction of a plant is being researched.
The advantages of using wind energy produced by small wind turbines are very clear. First of all, they
are practical. Installation does not present any particular technical problems because of the size of the
apparatus and their height is relatively modest. There are also economic advantages. Where there is no
As well as an economic and administrative analysis, a technical and technological analysis is needed
public electricity supply, the costs of connection can be higher than the investment necessary to buy
based on:
and use a turbine of adequate power. Lastly, there are environmental advantages: there are no environ-
a detailed analysis of a companys consumption and evaluation of the type and quantity of consum-
mentally harmful CO2 emissions from wind energy. However, the so-called mini-wind machines havenot
ption which could be supplied by a micro-turbine;
yet had the widespread recognition they deserve for theirs enormous potential.
analysis of the energy costs of an average Ligurian farm;
Considering the versatility and productive capacity of small wind turbines, it is quite probable that the
careful identification of sites suitable for wind turbine installations through surveys or anemometric
economic incentives provided by law for this type of plant will be a deciding factor in market develop-
maps and wind charts specific to each site;
ment of the mini-wind machine.
comparison of the hardware and software available for evaluating which are most suitable for use in
the conditions in Liguria Region;
technological improvements to increase the mechanical and aerodynamic efficiency of the machi-
nes and plants according to different wind conditions or special needs;
choice of hard-wearing materials resistant under extreme conditions;
creation of innovative hardware and software prototypes suitable for the particular conditions of use
in Liguria;
research into reducing the costs of installation while not neglecting the acoustic and visual impact
of the plants.
In the end, micro-wind turbines will consist of hybrid systems. That is, plants which link 2 or more gene-
rating systems, conventional ones (e.g. diesel oil or the grid) to guarantee continuity of the electricity
supply and renewable sources complemented as necessary by storage systems, power regulators
(inverters, rectifiers, load regulators) and by regulations and checks. In the past diesel generators were
used exclusively to bring electricity to remote areas. These are not efficient, are difficult to maintain and
have a short life. Hybrid systems mean that local renewable sources can be used to provide a concrete
alternative compatible with environmental and social planning.

92 93

Patrizia Martini, Marco Odasso, Stefano Rapetti, Laura Repetto, Federico Tinivella, Giovanni Minuto

2.1 Biosafety pest management P. Martini, M. Odasso, S. Rapetti, L. Repetto

Interest in integrated pest management has grown gradually along with awareness of the risks con-
nected to the free use of pesticides. This has stimulated research into identifying new strategies of
pest management which reduce the use of chemicals and encourage integration of different types
and systems which achieve high production levels and optimal selling quality while safeguarding the
environment. Under Legislative Decree 194/95, pesticides must be used in accordance with good
agricultural practices as well as, where possible, with integrated pest management whose objective
is biological balance. This presupposes a thorough knowledge of the agro-ecosystem and all its
components. For example, changing from traditional chemical pest management or a calendar (i.e.
anti-parasite treatments at fixed intervals and at pre-set periods of the year which do not take account
of whether parasites are actually present or of the actual climate) to a planned approach leads to a
noticeable reduction in the number of treatments. However, greater commitment is needed to carry
out the observations and information gathering necessary to evaluate how and when treatment is ne-
eded. These are methods which are constantly evolving and which require a lot of knowhow in both
technicians and farmers.


The objectives of planned pest management are mainly to drastically reduce the number of treatments
and to use less toxic and polluting products. The necessary requisites are:

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Sustainable use of pesticides and integrated pest management, nitrate control

identifying the threshold level of pathogens/parasites which gives the number of organisms at which 2.1.3 INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
there may be economical loss (economic and tolerance threshold) and verifying the environmental This provides for integrated use of all the methods of pest management (agronomic, chemical, biologi-
conditions which may lead to cryptogam infections (epidemiological indices); cal, genetic, etc.) most suitable for facing the problems which occur each time in a production cycle and
verifying when these thresholds have been reached using information gathered at each farm or which permit the minimum use of pesticides.
creating epidemiological indices;
knowledge of the biological cycle of the hostile organism; To fight infestation in this way it is important to understand some factors which can help to prevent or
knowledge of the time at which the organism is most susceptible. limit infections/infestations. For example:
Tools are needed to carry out this type of pest management, particularly those useful for identifying knowing the kind of problems the cultivated species are prone to;
meteorological parameters, those for managing mathematical models applicable in some adverse situa- knowing the particular weaknesses of the species and selecting/comparing with its main enemies
tions and which allow us it identify the right moment to intervene (e.g. the rule of the three tens which in order to choose a less sensitive species or variety;
evaluates temperature, rainfall, shoot length and indicates the right moment to carry out the first treat- carrying out sowing/transplanting at the times most suitable for putting the plant cycle out of sync
ment against blight in vines). To use this type of pest management it is normal to go to local specialized with the pathogen cycle;
technical assistance centres which have the equipment as well as the necessary skills. as far as possible, using mechanical weeding methods;
using balanced fertilizations and practices aimed at improving the strength of the plants and making
them less vulnerable;
2.1.2 BIOLOGICAL PEST MANAGEMENT rotating crops and using suitable neighbouring crops;
Biological pest control is a technique of defence against parasites or other agents of plant disease which choosing pesticides whose collateral effects towards other non-targeted organisms is well known
is based on a thorough knowledge of the natural factors which limit the spread of parasites and which so that they are more selective in identifying helpful organisms.
uses exclusively biological methods. For example, insects (predators or the parasites of other insects or
mites), pheromones (attractive substances which are like those normally left by the insects and which The Life + Sumflower project results
substitute for chemical messengers), antagonists (fungus, viruses and bacteria which kill certain plant Two years of tests have been carried out in pilot businesses to evaluate the possibility of using pest
parasites or disease agents). In this type of pest management, no substances toxic to man are used management criteria which allow a quality product to be achieved through integrating different types
and the following concepts are respected: of pest management, favouring agronomic and biological ones over the traditional chemical methods.
conservation and increase of the helpful species already present in the environment;
use of helpful/antagonistic organisms and micro-organisms.

This technique is successfully used mainly in greenhouses or other enclosed environments. To en-
2.2 Biosafety pesticides P. Martini, M. Odasso,
S. Rapetti, L. Repetto
courage the development and conservation of helpful species, it is advisable:
to use selected pesticides which have a low impact on the environment (the toxic effect on helpful 2.2.1 CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PESTICIDES
organisms is not linked to the toxicological class of the pesticides but to its action and the way in Plants can be affected by problems of varying origin: fungal and viral infections, insects and nematodes.
which this interacts with the different stages of development of the target organism); Various products are available which usually act first on one threat and then on another, with an effect
to respect weeds which may offer a refuge to helpful species; which can be specific to one type of parasite. To choose a phytosanitary product we have to take a
to use practices aimed at improving the chances of survival of helpful species. number of factors into consideration:
To control fungal or bacterial diseases there are a limited number of helpful organisms (usually antagoni- knowledge of the enemy to control. This is of prime importance in choosing the most suitable
stic micro-organisms). However, the results achieved in the fight against animal parasites are extremely plant pest management. We need to examine the phytosanitary state of the crop and, if necessary,
satisfactory and there are numerous biofactories where predators and parasites used to control har- turn to those organisations able to provide the necessary technical assistance to identify the type of
mful insects are bred. disease and the pest management strategy and advise on the best product to use. The addresses
of these organisations are listed in the appendix;
ORGANIC AGRICULTURE effectiveness. Change the active substances used, the methods of using them and of
This is a system of production in which only products with a natural origin are used for pest mana- cultivation. Continuous use of the same active substances can cause their effectiveness to di-
gement (for example, sulphur, copper, natural pyrethrum etc.) with agronomic methods or putting minish as resistance is built. For example, using the same weedkiller on one crop for a long period
into practice the principles of biological pest control (release of helpful organisms, Bacillus thurin- of time means there is a risk of selecting those weeds which spread because they are resistant to
giensis based products etc.). It is based on a precise European norm (EEC Reg. 2091/9, modified that product. Always using the same phytosanitary product against Botrytis can lead to clusters of
by CEE Reg. 473/2002) which establishes the products and techniques permissible for this type of the fungus which are resistant to the product, which is then rendered totally or partially useless;
production. Since 1st January 2009 regulation (CE) No. 834/2007 regarding biological production limitations on the use of the active substance noted on the label. Many pesticides are not re-
and the labelling of biological products, which was passed by the Council on 28 June 2007, has commended for use on all types of crop (for example for large-leaf vegetables only a few products
been in operation and has superseded EEC regulation no. 2092/91. are suitable). Some pesticides are not to be used in greenhouses;

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It is necessary phytotoxicity. The use of an active substance can cause 2.2.2 SALES, PURCHASING, TRANSPORT AND STORAGE OF PESTICIDES
to choose burns or other injuries to the treated plants. If the phytotoxic
a pesticide which gives effect is known, it is written on the label. In cases where it Enabling sale and purchase of PPs
the best pest management is not clear, it is always better to test the substance on Pesticides can only be sold by authorized merchants in ac-
to the plants, has a good some plants and wait for the effects to be seen before cordance with art. 23 and 24 of DPR 290/01, who are in pos- To buy and use
cost-benefit ratio and proceeding with all of the plants; session of a certificate of authorization. highly toxic (T+),
the least impact on the pre-harvest interval (PHI). This is the number Each store or sales point must be managed by a person over toxic (T)
environment of days which must pass between the last treatment the age of majority and in possession of a certificate of au- and harmful (Xn)
and on human health and harvesting. Near harvesting time, pesticides with thorization. It is absolutely forbidden to sell PPs at markets or PPs the necessary
a time limit of a number of days which is less than the loose. Only PPs produced in authorized factories registered with authorization or
days left before harvesting must be used to avoid ha- the Health Ministry can be marketed and used. Products acquired permit is required
ving any residual chemicals over the permitted limits on abroad and not regi (DPR n. 290/01)
the harvested product; stered in Italy are also prohibited.
persistence. This is nearly always correlated to the time limit. The more persistent a PP is, i.e. For purchasing and using highly toxic (T+), toxic (T) and harmful (Xn)
the more difficult it is to degrade or to remove from the crop, the longer its time limit. One particular PPs it is necessary to have the appropriate authorization or permit from the
example is that of weedkillers with strong, residual action like antigerminators. These can have a Agrarian Co-ordination Services Inspectorate (s.C.I.A.) and the regulation governing
harmful effect on a later crop as they stay in the soil for a long time. There is no such problem with this subject is DPR no. 290/01. All those who are of the age of majority and have passed an exam which
products used on leaves like moisturisers which stay in the soil for a short time; demonstrates their knowledge of basic regulations for the correct agronomic and health use of PPs and
selection of and respect for helpful insects and mites. The ideal product, regardless of its the risks linked to their storage and use can obtain this permit.
toxicological classification, should respect pollinating insects and all organisms which are naturally Anyone who buys highly toxic (T+), toxic (T) and harmful (Xn) PPs, assumes responsibility for their cor-
useful for controlling harmful organisms; rect use and at the moment of purchase must sign a form in duplicate (one copy must be kept by the
penetration and spread inside the plant. As some diseases, like vascular wilt in carnations, buyer for 5 years) which contains the name and quantity of the formula purchased as well as its planned
(disease of the stem) develop inside the plant, it is necessary to use a product which can penetrate use. These products therefore cannot be lent or given to other people, even if they have a permit. Any
and spread inside the plant, i.e. a systemic product. A product unable to do this would have no workers who carry out the treatments in the fields must also have a permit.
effect. On the other hand, to combat powdery mildew, which develops mainly on the external sur-
faces of the plant, it is possible to use a surface-acting product with a sulphur base which cannot Transporting pesticides
penetrate the plant internally; All the necessary precautions to prevent breaks or changes to the packaging must be taken when tran-
costs. Choosing a pesticide should always take account of the cost-benefit ratio. Sometimes for- sporting PPs. Any contact with people, animals or comestibles must be avoided. After transportation,
mulas contain the same active substance in equal quantities at quite different prices. the vehicle used must be carefully cleaned.
In the case of leaks or spillage Reading the label suitable protective clothing must be worn;
It is extremely important to read the label on the packaging before choosing a product. It contains a damaged packs must be disposed of exactly in accordance with regulations;
series of useful points about the toxicological classification, the active ingredient in the product, safety any liquids must be absorbed using sawdust (to be disposed of as above);
measures to be taken during distribution of the product, any limitations to its use and any phytotoxic any contamination must be thoroughly cleaned up and kept away from water and wells;
effects which it might have on particular types of crop. For these reasons, before mixing and distributing keep away from humans and animals.
the product, the instructions on the label should be read carefully as they are in accordance with the Whenever foodstuffs are contaminated, they must be destroyed and not eaten either by people or by
provisions laid out in article 16 point 1 of Legislative Decree no. 194/95. domestic animals.
To choose a product and carry out the treatment, the instructions on the label about dosages and me-
thods of use for crops should be followed carefully. A pesticide should be used exclusively for problems Storing pesticides
with the crop in the dosages on the label. Any other use different from what is on the label is illegal and Pesticides must be stored in suitable places which are isolated and inaccessible to children, unau-
liable to sanctions. Legislative Decree no. 194/95 states that pesticides must be stored and used cor- thorized personnel and animals. It is advisable to buy only the strictly necessary quantities to avoid
rectly in conformity with all the instructions and precautions on the label. accumulating dangerous stores. At the moment of purchase, always verify that the packaging is
intact. Storage places must be well aired and dry and not exposed to frost or heat so that the
packaging cannot be damaged in any way.
Highly toxic (T+), toxic (T) and harmful (Xn) PPs must be kept locked up and a notice saying POI-
SON must be displayed. There must be absolutely no comestibles or food of any kind or workers
clothes stored in the same place.

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The products should always be kept in the original packaging and never put into other containers Mixing different products does not only involve the active substances, Do not mix
without labels in order to avoid improper use or dangerous accidents. but also the coformulants which have been added to make them different types
more manageable and effective. There may be incompatibility among of product if you
coformulants. This happens most when soluble powders are mixed do not know their
2.2.3 PLANNING THE TREATMENT AND MIXING THE PRODUCT with liquid emulsions. This can lead to the formation of sediments and respective chemical
The first thing to do is read the label on the pack carefully and completely. The label shows flakes of precipitation. Some mixtures of pesticides can have toxic effects interactions
the three fundamental requirements for choosing the correct pesticides: on plants (toxicity).
Purchase 1) authorized. I.e. the type of crop for which the pesticides can be used; A useful tip is to try and distribute the mixture immediately after preparation so
only the 2) problems. What type of problems can be solved using this product; that there is not too much time between preparation and distribution. It is not advisa-
absolutely 3) time limit. The minimum amount of time which there must be between ble to mix products of different types if you do not know their respective chemical interactions.
necessary the treatment and harvesting.
quantities It is also of fundamental importance to respect the correct dose of the pro-
of PPs duct as set out on the label for treatments. It is also of fundamental impor- 2.2.4 TREATMENT PROCEDURES
tance to respect the correct dosage of the product as set out on the label for
treatments. Preparation and distribution are the most dangerous moments for Amount of water to be used for treatment
agriculture and for the environment. The substances are still pure and highly concentrated, so there is There are 3 parameters for obtaining the correct amount of watering of vegetation. Letting the mixture
a greater risk of acute or chronic toxic effects. At this stage it is absolutely necessary to use individual drip must always be avoided.
protective clothing and appliances (DPI) for humans protection. The three parameters to consider are:
the type of equipment to be used (e.g. dribble bar, or sprayer); Dosages, preparation and mixing of the product the stage of development and type of cultivation of the crop to be treated;
With the necessary pest management, the next step is dosing, i.e. measuring the right quantity of the the target parasite.
product to be mixed with water. When two products are to be mixed, it is necessary to verify that they are
compatible by looking at the compatibility table. For measuring dosages of pesticides, only the appropriate
equipment must be used and never anything which has been used, for example, for domestic purposes. Treatment
Once the equipment has been used, it should be carefully washed and placed in a protected place. The Workers who are carrying out the treatment should be in good health and have the right protective
correct dosage of the pesticides is essential for a good outcome from the treatment. In fact overdosing with gear. Before, during and after the preparation of the mixture and after the treatment, the workers
pesticides is not economic and may have a harmful effect on the crop. In the same way under-dosing may should not smoke or eat and must avoid contact with the treated plants. At the end of the treatment,
compromise the effectiveness of the treatment or encourage parasites to become resistant to the treatment. the worker should wash carefully.
The most recent labels always show the ratio of product to surface area of the crop (g/hectare, kg/ It is generally a good idea to carry out treatments at the coolest times of the day. Distributing the pro-
hectare, litre/hectare) independent of the type of equipment used. If it states on the label maximum duct on open fields should always be avoided when the crop is flowering or on windy days.
dosage, this is a maximum dosage which must not be exceeded. It should be remembered that the person who carries out the treatment is legally
responsible for any damage or toxic effects to third parties.
To prepare the mixture, proceed as follows: Agricultural workers are required to provide their employees with suitable
add the measured dosage of pesticides to a small volume of water (except when using liquid pro- individual protective gear, to be responsible for the safety of the ma-
ducts like emulsions, in which case the product is at risk of crystallizing); chinery and equipment used and to inform their employees of any Carry out treatments
pour into the dribble bar after having filled it with half the water volume required; risks related to the use of pesticides. at the coolest times
add water to the right amount for the treatment. Treatments cannot be carried out near housing, campsites of the day, avoiding PPs
In the mixing phase, be very careful not to wet your hands. Use a suitable mixer, made of inert, washable or public pathways or near wells or springs. The use of pe- treatment in open fields,
material when possible. After use, all containers and tools should be washed and put aside to be used sticides is prohibited within a 200-metre radius of wells or during the crop
again only for this purpose. springs providing drinking water except in specific cases. flowering,
Near streams, it is advisable to stop the treatment at least or on windy days Mixtures of pesticides 10 metres away unless the label states otherwise. It is advi-
In agriculture, mixtures of pesticides are often used to control more than one type of problem and save on sable to display notices in the fields and near greenhouses
time and money. It is vitally important to know the pesticides well before mixing them. which have been treated with clearly visible wording such as
One solution is to use a mixing table which shows the compatibility between one pesticide and another. crop treated with pesticides or something similar to warn of the
However, these tables only show the name of the active substance and not the name of the commercial danger.
product, so before mixing it is always advisable to read the information on the label.

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2.2.5 AFTER TREATMENT Regional Council, in 2001, drew up an agreement for a programme of waste management with the Pro-
vincial authorities, local authorities and waste disposal organisations in the agricultural sector. Management of overflow at the end of the treatment
It is absolutely forbidden to unload the undistributed remains of anti-parasite mixtures onto the soil or in Agricultural waste
ditches. For this reason it is better to prepare the exact amount of mixture required and distribute it all Agricultural waste is considered to be special waste and must be disposed of according to specified
on the plants. procedures which are more complex if the special waste is dangerous and less so if it is not dange-
Also, at the end of the treatment, take care not to pour away the equipment washing water near springs rous.
or running water. Out-of-date pesticides which can no longer be used are considered to be dangerous special waste
as well as partially empty containers, empty containers, filters, masks and helmets which are worn out Re-entry time or out-of-date and disposable overalls used in phytosanitary treatments.
Once the treatment has been carried out, whatever the level of toxicity of the product used, it is neces-
Empty compost or fertilizer containers, irrigation hoses, nets for olive-picking or other types of harvesting
sary to respect the re-entry time. This is the time needed from the moment of the treatment to reen-
are considered to be non-dangerous special waste.
tering the field or greenhouse. The length of time depends on the product used. Although there are no
regulations governing this, it is always advisable to allow at least 48 hours before going back into places
which have been treated and to open the windows of a greenhouse some hours before going back in. Disposal of special waste Pre Harvest Interval (Phi) National legislation is quite complex and states that special waste may only be transported by compa-
After the final treatment and before the crop is harvested, a safety interval is necessary nies on the national register of waste management companies (waste management register). The list of
(this is the minimum number of days which must pass between the last treatment waste management companies in Liguria is available in the Industry and Craft Chamber of Commerce
and harvesting, or, for stored foodstuffs, between the last treatment and di- in Genoa. Special waste must also be accompanied by a transportation document called the Identifi-
When a mixture spatch) as shown on the PP packaging. The waiting time is not related to cation Form which shows the identification details of the waste producer and the type of waste being
of PPs is used, the toxic classification or the concentration of active substance, but to transported and where it is to be taken, i.e. the waste disposal plant of destination. There must be four
a safety interval the type of crop treated and to the degradability and volatility of the pro- copies of the document all signed by the waste producer and counter-signed by the transporter. The
longer than that duct. This waiting time remains the same whether a reduced dosage waste producer (farmer) must keep a copy for at least five years. The other three copies are left with the
for a single product of the pesticides has been used, or if it has rained after the treatment, transporter who has them signed and dated on delivery to the final destination. One copy remains at the
must be respected or washing or watering has been carried out. When pesticides have final destination, one remains with the transporter and the other is sent to the farmer by the transporter.
been mixed, a longer waiting time is necessary than that recommen- In this way the farmer has proof that the waste arrived at the final waste disposal plant destination.
ded for a single product. The safety interval must always be indicated It is also necessary to keep a register of loading and unloading special waste for disposal and to send
on the label when the crop treated is for use in foodstuffs. an annual notification to the land waste register at the Chamber of Commerce using an MUD, (form for
With ornamental crops, this labelling is not necessary. It may even not be necessary to wait and there- environmental pest management declaration).
fore this time is not written on the labels of some products (e.g. some herbicides) when they are to be
used a long time before harvesting or when they are used in areas like railway stations, roadsides, etc. The Liguria Region with the Accordo di Programma 2001, simplified the complex national proce-
dures with regard to agricultural waste. With this norm, if a farm produces only nondangerous special
waste, it can transport its own waste on condition that it is given to a public services
2.2.6 MANAGEMENT AND DISPOSAL OF AGRICULTURAL WASTE waste company which has a specific contract for this. In this case it is not ne-
All of the waste produced by human beings has been classified by the EU which passed a Regulation cessary to be on the waste management register or the register for loading
A flower grower
(CF 2557/2001) in 2001, with a list of types of waste. The waste is subdivided into urban waste and and unloading or to complete the MUD declaration. The Identification
can transport his
special waste, and, according to the risk factor, into dangerous and non-dangerous waste. All waste is Form is necessary only if the waste exceeds 30 kg or 30 litres. If a
own dangerous
identified using a code called the EWC (European Waste Catalogue codes). farm also produces dangerous special waste it can transport its
or non-dangerous
For example, fertilizer containers identified by the code CER 020104 and out-of-date pesticides which own waste if the quantity is less than 30 kg or 30 l a day to public
special waste
can no longer be used, and their containers, have the code CER 020108. This list and the classifica- waste dumps where there is a specific agreement. For quantities
if he produces up to
tion of waste into different types were introduced with the aim of establishing better methods of waste of less than 30 kg or 30 l a day, it is not necessary to complete the
30 kg or 30 l a day
disposal or recycling for the environment. Identification Form. The register for loading and unloading is requi-
Legislative Decree 152/2006 (Norms for protecting the environment) is attached at D, part IV; red if the agricultural business has a turnover of more than 8,000 a
the Ministry for the Environment Decree of 2 May 2006 (creating a list of waste), enacted by Legi- year and does not deliver dangerous waste to the public services. In all
slative Degree 152/2006, attachment A. other cases, national regulations must be followed.
These contain procedures for correct waste disposal, particularly with regard to special waste. Liguria

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Sustainable use of pesticides and integrated pest management, nitrate control

There is another simplification in the agreement procedures regarding the Identification Form. This certi- References
ficate can be substituted for a document of delivery in duplicate copies. Guida allutilizzo degli agrofarmaci - a cura di Boccardo V. e Munari M. - Edito nel 2011 dallAssessorato
allAgricoltura della Regione Liguria.
A national simplification, specifically for farms (article quinquies. Comma 1. Lit. b. of Law 30 of De- Consultabile presso il portale ufficiale della Regione Liguria dedicato allagricoltura allindirizzo
cember 2008, no. 205) confirmed some of the easements in the regional agreement for the whole http://www.agriligurianet.it/Agrinet/DTS_GENERALE/20120306/Guida_Agrofarmaci.pdf
nation. Waste dumps

Before being taken to the appropriate ecological dump, agricultural waste may be stored on the pre-
mises for a maximum of one year for quantities less than 20 cubic metres, or three months for larger
quantities. The waste must be kept in waterproof bags and hermetically sealed and a label with the
producers identity details attached.
Sacks for disposal must be kept in fenced areas and must be stored so that no waste material can
escape into the environment.
In the Liguria region, there are many public ecological waste dumps. Each local council with a dump
decides for itself what type of waste can be collected according to quantity and quality (type of waste)
and on what basis special waste can be assimilated to urban waste. In some cases, for particular types
of waste such as special agricultural waste, the ecological dumps take this waste by agreement and
with an additional supplementary fee.
With the Accordo di programma regionale, collection centres for agricultural waste can be set up and
authorized by the provincial authorities with simplified procedures but with the same powers as the pu-
blic ecological dumps. Decontamination of empty containers

As previously mentioned, empty pesticide containers are considered to be dangerous special waste
and must be disposed of according to the procedures for dangerous special agricultural waste. Decon-
tamination of empty pesticide containers before collection means less difficult waste management. With
this operation it is possible to carry out their correct disposal at no great cost.
Decontamination involves the following steps:
washing the empty container with water to remove as much as possible of the product.
There should be at least three consecutive rinses for suitable washing. Waste water from the wa-
shing can be used only for mixing pesticides. If it is not possible to use the water, it should be dispo-
sed of as liquid waste, contained and transported to a registered waste disposal company. Washing
is considered a suitable, adequate procedure for empty plastic, metal, or paper with plastic linings,
Shaking containers made of paper or with paper linings into the vessel in which the mixture is pre-
pared to remove any residue of pesticides.
Containers treated in this way are considered to be decontaminated and then belong to the category of
non-dangerous special waste. During decontamination, workers must wear suitable individual protective
clothing and appliances.

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2.3 Reducing nitrate levels in plant cultures G. Minuto, F. Tinivella

It is best to keep the rows between the trees grassed and to carry out maintenance on the permanent
ditches and channels. It is advisable to plough in with residues from crops with a high carbon/nitrogen
ratio to encourage immobilization of the nitrogen in the microbe biomass. Perennial legumes can also be
2.3.1 GENERAL FEATURES grown to provide future fertilization and reduce the amount of mineral fertilizers. Pruning should be done
The main objective of the guidelines or Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) is to contribute to the protection
with regard to keeping a balance between the type of vegetation and production.
of water from pollution by nitrates by reducing the environmental impact of agriculture through paying
greater attention to managing the balance of nitrogen.
The GAP is based on criteria of flexibility of time and space which take account of:
variations in climate, crop and soil;
Good irrigation must be aimed at limiting leaching and surface runoff of the water and therefore must
new knowledge of the environmental conditions;
provide a volume of water sufficient to bring the water capacity of a field up to a level which means that
improvements in genetics and cultivation techniques;
the layer of soil where the roots are is well fed. The choice of irrigation method must be based on the
improvements in treatment of livestock effluent and biomass from different sources which may con-
physical-chemical and morphological features of the soil, on the needs and/or characteristics of the
veniently be used;
crop, on the environmental characteristics and on the quality of the water available.
new techniques for breeding and feeding animals.
In choosing a n irrigation system, the percentage of maximum efficiency of distribution should be con-
The GAP objective is to optimize management of nitrogen in plant/soil systems when crops are grown
sidered and taken into account when planning treatments. Table 7 lists the irrigation methods and the
continuously and when such crops require an adequate level of nutrition which is economically and en-
distribution efficiency of each one.
vironmentally sustainable, with the aim of minimizing possible losses through run- off water or superficial
or deep drainage.
From analyzing various studies on crops and on the use of nitrogen fertilizers, it emerges that excessive
use of nitrogen means non-productive increases in production costs and has no positive effect on the
Flow 40-50
final product either in terms of quantity or quality. It also produces a greater accumulation of nitrates with
Lateral infiltration through channels 55-60
a consequent risk to the environment and to peoples health. so it is vitally important to respect good
Sprinkling 70.80
agricultural practices which are based on the balance between the need to use nitrogen for cultivation Drops 85-90
and the amount of nitrogen in the soil and from fertilization.
Nitrogen in the soil corresponds to: Table 7. Efficiency of irrigation methods.
the amount of nitrogen in the soil at the moment the crop begins to absorb it in significant quantities
(equal to the amount remaining after the winter);
The table shows that a dropping system is the one with least water dispersion. However, it is also the
the amount compost containing a certain quantity of nitrogen coming from the mineralisation of
most costly system and therefore recommended for the most prestigious crops.
organic nitrogen reserves in the soil;
As is shown, flow irrigation is not really advisable (it is strictly controlled in this plan) particularly on very
the amount coming from fertilizers and animal effluent.
permeable soil, in areas with superficial water channels, on soil with a useful layer limited to 15-20 cm.
The GAP is based on identification of a series of minimum requirements applied to the different com-
and on slopes of more than 3%.
ponents of agriculture. Generally, it is important to pay particular attention to the amount of water used
The volume of water used, with whatever type of irrigation, must always be measured in relation to the
for irrigation, taking into account the needs of the crop, in order to avoid waste and the risk of leaching.
need of the crop, to the characteristics of the soil and to current weather conditions to avoid waste or
Irrigation systems which save water and energy are therefore always preferable.
It is also advisable to consider in an irrigation plan the amount of readily and totally assimilable nitrogen
Table 8 shows the maximum volumes of water recommended in proportion to the soil particle size.
which is contained in the irrigation water (e.g. irrigation water with 50 mg/l of nitrates and watering ca-
pacity of 1,000 m3/hectare has 11 kg of nitrogen). In order to quantify this type of hidden fertilizer,
In cases of plants grown in pots, it is recommended, where possible, to use localized irrigation systems
chemical analysis must be used to determine the nitrate content in the irrigation water.
which lead to noticeable savings in water and limited dispersion. In any case, the volume of water should
Fertilizations must be carried out in stages related to the crops stage of growth and in any case, with
be such as to limit draining as much as possible, taking into account the capacity of retention of the
the exception of specifically different single cases of fertilizing, a dose of 10 g of nitrogen per m2 should
growing medium. Using sprinklers, particular attention must be paid to the distribution of the irrigators on
never be exceeded. It is important to synchronise the use of nitrogen fertilizers with the phase of growth
the plot and the intensity of the rainfall with regard to the permeability of the soil. It is also necessary to eva-
when the plant can use them best and it is preferable to use slow-release or controlled-release fertilizers
luate the effect of wind on the distribution of the irrigators and the influence of vegetation on the distribution
or those with nitrate inhibitors.
of water to the soil.
For growing trees on slopes, it is advisable:
to grass between the rows;
not to till the soil at a depth of more than 25 cm;
not to till soil in the period from 15 september to 30 January and to leave weeds to grow spontaneously.

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Type of texture Soil classification OPEN FIELDS
From 50 Over 100
Up to 50 cm
to 100 cm cm Agronomic
Description of good agricultural practice
Coarse Sandy, sandy loam 300 500 800 Practices
Loamy sand, coarse loamy sand, fine The choice of the growing medium must take account of the type of crop and its management,
Moderately coarse 300 500 800
loamy sand but should preferably be of a type with a high capacity for water retention.
Medium Very fine loamy sand, loamy, loamy silt, silty 400 700 1000 The optimal physical characteristics of the growing medium (after irrigation and draining) may be
the fol- lowing for many types of crop (% volume):
Loamy clay, loamy clayish sand, loamy total porosity: 50-85%;
Moderately fine 500 800 1200
clayish silt air space: 10-30%;
Fine clayish sand, clayish silt, clayish 500 800 1200 pot size: 45-65%;
available water: 25-35%;
non-available water: 25-35%;
Table 8. Maximum recommended volumes of watering (m3/ha) according to the coarseness of the soil. Subsoil apparent density: 0.19-0.70 g/cc.
management It should be borne in mind that a growing medium with a high proportion of coarse granules has a
lot of air space and relatively little capacity to retain water and as a result, nutrients are easily lost.
It is advisable to do a physical-chemical analysis of the growing mediumsoil to verify its charac-
teristics and balance the fertilizing. It is also advisable to do periodic tests on the nutritional state
To calculate nitrate fertilization, the amount of nitrogen must be estimated on the basis of the total re- of the crop by a chemical analysis of the growing medium. This testing should be more frequent
moval (unit of removal for estimated effect) for grass crops, forage, flowers, vegetables and seeding. in the summer. At least the electrical conductivity should be recorded, as distribution of many
The maximum quantity suitable for the crop should not be exceeded to achieve the maximum possible fertilizers induces an increase in electrical conductivity. The optimal level of conductivity in the
effect. For tree cultivation, the base amount of nitrogen required to support annual growth should be soil for most plants is 0.5-1.0 mMhos/cm. mmhos/cm with controlled release fertilizers. These
calculated. parameters can vary if the plant is particularly sensitive. The conductivity of the irrigation water
used should also be known, as it should be less than 0.75 mMhos/cm.
In any case, the values in Table 14 should not be exceeded for different crops.
The amount of nitrogen plants needed can be calculated using the following formula: For cultivation in pots, the moment when cultivation surfacesare prepared corresponds to the
highest exposure to surface erosion, which may remove solid pieces of earth and possibly clog
the drainage system. Necessary precautions can consist in:
N (kg/ha) = N abs.(kg/ha) N av. (kg/ha)
limiting periods of bare soil, especially duringn rainy seasons, stabilizing the soil and adopting
N abs. = nitrogen absorbed by the crop during its growing cycle Surface covering systems ;
N av. = nitrogen available to the crop from other sources different from direct fertilization watering providing systems of pest management for non-cultivated areas;
keeping drainage systems clean but avoiding over-quick water run-off. It is advisable to have
The amount of nitrogen absorbed is obtained from the potential yield and absorption by the crop while grassed drainage channels which as well as stopping the water from draining too quickly
the nitrogen available figure is obtained from the sum of the nitrogen in the fertilizer, that present in the soil play a role of biofiltration which helps to diminish nutrient load;
setting up soil layout in order to limit erosion.
and that which becomes available through the effect of mineralization of organic substances in the soil,
through previous crops and through the residues of previous years. Rainfall is also taken into account in It is recommended that localized low volume irrigation is used directly into the pot, controlling the
these calculations as it means a loss of nitrogen through leaching. irrigation to limit drainage to the maximum. In this case, particularly if a sprinkling irrigation system
is used, it is necessary to minimize water dispersion and percolation during irrigation, therefore
it is advisable:
Irrigation to irrigate at different moments during the day and not all at once;
2.3.4 GUIDELINES FOR SOME TYPES OF CROP IN NITRATE VULNERABLE ZONES to use doses adapted to the retention and state of moistness of the subsoil;
The following charts show good agricultural practices to follow in nitrate vulnerable zones, subdivided to use multi-layer absorbent film for irrigating pots from below;
for types of crop. to optimize pot spacing;
to check periodically that the irrigation plant is working correctly.

Substitute sprinkler irrigation with localized micro-irrigation systems;

Recommen- use absorbent multi-layer film or mats to avoid percolation and reflux and to save water;
ded methods connect collective irrigation plants to the mains to guarantee a better water quality than the
companys wells.

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FertilisationQuantities of fertilizers to be distributed should be calculated on the basis of a fertilization plan FLOWERING, ORNAMENTAL, AROMATIC AND VEGETABLE PLANTS IN
which uses the least amount of fertilizer which can guarantee good plant growth and the least GREENHOUSES
possible loss of nutrients.
A basal dressing is recommended at the time the growing medium is prepared. This contributes Description of good agricultural practice
to eliminating or considerably reducing the use of soluble fertilizers at later stages. It is always
advisable to group plants together according to their nutritional needs (species, age etc.) to opti- The choice of the growing medium must take into account the type of crop and its management,
mize treatments. It is important to record the date, product, dose, stage of growth and analytical but those with high water retention capacities are preferable.
results at each treatment so that they can be compared and provide technical and economic The optimal physical characteristics of the growing medium (after irrigation and draining) for many
data. crops may be the following (% volume):
Where suitable, a localized low volume fertigation system is recommended directly into the pot, total porosity: 50-85%;
checking on the volume of irrigation in order to limit drainage and loss of nutrients. air space: 10-30%;
Sprinkling irrigation is not recommended as the greater part of the fertilizer does not reach the pot pot capacity: 45-65%;
but lands outside of it, runs off and, when mulching film is used, is carried away along surface available water: 25-35%;
channels. If this system is used, at least a system for recovering the loss should be installed. non-available water: 25-35%;
Whenever it is not possible to add slow-release or controlled-release fertilizer directly to the apparent density: 0.19-0.70 g/cc;
growing medium, it is possible to add it using appropriate dose dispensers in each pot. With It should always be remembered that a growing medium with a high proportion of coarse par-
regard to localized, periodic, controlled-release fertilizer distribution, the following procedures ticles has a lot of air space but a relatively small capacity for water retention and it is therefore
should be adopted: easy to lose nutrients.
Limits distribute in the doses stated on the label; It is advisable to do a physical-chemical analysis of the growing medium to verify its characteri-
in autumn and winter, used half the dose used in summer; stics and balance the fertilization. It is also advisable to do periodic tests on the nutritional state
do not put the fertilizer on the top of the pot if the containers could be knocked over; of the crop by a chemical analysis of the subsoil. This testing should be more frequent in the
when basal dressing is carried out before planting, mix the fertiliser uniformly with the soil; summer. At least the electrical conductivity should be recorded as distribution of many fertilizers
do not distribute the fertilizer on top of pots which are already placed on the soil; induces an increase in electrical conductivity. The optimal level of electrical conductivity in the
remember that there may be a loss of nutrients depending on the irrigation system used. subsoil for most plants is 0.5-1.0 mS/cm. with soluble fertilizers or these combined with control-
Possible Sprinkling fertilizer in water is limited to a maximum of 5 treatments per year and should only be led release fertilizers. With controlled-release fertilizers the optimal level is 0.20.5 mS/cm These
checks used in conjunction with bottom fertilization. It is prohibited from 1st November to 15 January; parameters can vary if the plant is particularly sensitive. The conductivity of the irrigation water
use potting machines provided with dispensers of controlled release fertilizer which can be used should also be known, as it should be less than 0.75 mS/cm.
Recommenda- inserted in each pot for granular slow-effect fertilizers;
tions replace sprinkler irrigation with micro-irrigation systems; Irrigation Low volume localized systems of irrigation should be used directly into the pot, checking on the
use multi-layer absorbent film or mats to avoid percolation and reflux into channels and to save irrigation level in order to limit drainage as much as possible. In this case, particularly if a sprinkler
water; system is used, it is necessary to minimize water dispersion and percolation during irrigation,
connect to collective irrigation systems to guarantee a better quality of water in comparison to therefore it is advisable:
that available in the companys wells; to irrigate at different moments during the day and not all at once;
check the compliance of the nitrogen rates used and the dates of application with the legislation to use doses adapted to the retention and state of moistness of the growing medium;
by checking the registers and receipts of purchase of the fertilizers. to use closed cycle and reflux recovery systems, e.g. Recycling sub-irrigation systems;
to check at least twice a year, in summer and winter, the quality of the irrigation water. Using
unsuitable water may cause changes in the pH level of the growing medium and clogging of
to use multi-layer absorbent film for irrigating pots from below;
to optimize pot spacing;
to create basins to collect water so that the irrigation water overflow does not leave the farm and
to collect rain water to use as another source of irrigation water;
Recommenda- to replace sprinkler irrigation systems with micro-irrigation systems;
tions use multi-layer absorbent film or mats to avoid percolation and reflux into channels and to save
set up basins to collect waste and rainwater;
connect collective irrigation systems to the mains to guarantee better water quality than that in
the companys wells.

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FertilisationQuantities of fertilizers to be distributed should be calculated on the basis of a feeding plan which
uses the least amount of fertilizer which can guarantee good plant growth rate and the least
possible loss of nutrients. Basal feeding is recommended at the time the growing medium is
prepared. This contributes to eliminating or considerably reducing the use of soluble fertilizers at Agronomic
Description of good agricultural practices
later stages. It is always advisable to group plants together according to their common nutritional practice
needs (species, age etc.) to optimize treatments. It is important to record date, product, dose, Watering systems and surface watering management should be regularly checked to prevent
stage of growth and analytical results at each treatment so that they can be compared and pro- puddles, erosion or flooding, especially for autumn-winter crops which are frequently rained on,
vide data regarding technical and economical aspects. and should be suitable for getting rid of excess rain water within a certain time.
Where suitable, a localized low volume fertigation system is recommended directly into the pot, Channels and sluices should be created using the following parameters:
checking on the volume of irrigation in order to limit leachingg and loss of nutrients. Sprinkle rirri- a) the average slope of the plot;
gation is not recommended as the greater part of the fertiliser does not reach the pot but lands b) the texture of the soil;
outside of it, which means more fertiliser is used and there is greater environmental dispersion c) rainfall at different times of year;
when the waste water is not collected. d) the type of crop.
With regard to localized, periodic, controlled-release treatments, the following procedures should
be used:
Fertilisation The quantity of macro-elements to be distributed depends on the capacity of the crop, on losses
Limits distribute the fertilizers at the doses stated on the label and re-apply only when the level of nu-
and on immobilization.
trients in the solution is lower than the set limits;
The farmer must take into account the fertility of the land and its physico-chemical characteristics
in autumn and winter, use half the dose used in summer;
by using an analysis of the soil as an aid for drawing up a long-term fertilization plan.
do not put the fertilizer on the top of the pot if the containers could be knocked over;
Analysis of the soil should be carried out at least once a year and recorded as a control. Soil con-
when basal fertilization is carried out before planting, mix the fertilizer uniformly with the growing
ditioners like manure, quality compost etc. can be distributed when basal feeding is carried out.
do not sow the fertilizer on top of pots which are already in position;
Limitations The use of phosphate and potassium mineral fertilizers should be in one single solution during
Possible remember that there may be a loss of nutrients depending on the irrigation system used;
and work on the bottom and before seeding or transplanting. About half of the nitrogen should be
checks sprinkling fertilizer in water is limited to a maximum of 5 treatments per year and should only be
prohibitions distributed according to regulations before planting and the rest used to cover.
used in conjunction with basal fertilization. It is prohibited from 1 November to 15 January;
Recommenda- check the irrigation plants and company registrations on the use of fertilizers;
Checks The maximum dose of nitrogen for each crop is shown in Table 14. All prohibitions or limitations
tions use dose dispensers which can be inserted in each pot for granular slow-release or controlled-
or reports are summarized in table 13.
release fertilizers.
Check the maximum dose of nitrogen allowed and the dates of distribution by examination of
registers and receipts of purchase of the fertilizers. Check that the soil is regularly analysed.

Irrigation Irrigation systems must be managed in the best possible way to limit the amount of water used
and the drainage. If sprinkler systems are used, action must be taken to minimize water disper-
sion and percolation during irrigation treatments. The following actions are recommended:
to carry out treatment several times a day and not all at once;
to apply doses on the basis of retention capacity and the state of moisture (humidity) of the soil;
to regularly check that the irrigation equipment is working properly;
where possible, to use mulching film (preferably in biodegradable material) to reduce loss from
evaporation and water consumption;
periodic chemical analysis of the irrigation water is recommended to verify its quality and nu-
trient content with regard to the fertilization plan;
where possible, improvement of spraying systems by using more efficient and localized irriga-
connecting collective irrigation systems to the mains to guarantee a better quality of water than
that obtained from company wells.

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Uso sostenibile dei prodotti fitosanitari e lotta integrata, controlo dei nitrati

optimizing WASTE
Paolo Vassallo, Chiara Paoli

3.1 Introduction
In the Sumflower project, some pilot floriculture farms were analyzed to understand the types and
quantities of waste they produced as well the flower growers awareness of the problems related to
waste. 7 pilot farms agreed to be equipped with the appropriate bins to deal with differentiated waste,
by separating it into plastic, paper, glass and organic waste.
On 6 of the floriculture farms periodic (about every 2 months) checks were carried out to quantify the
different types of waste.
The analysis revealed that none of the flower growers involved had adopted or thought of adopting
waste differentiation and there was a general lack of information about waste which, even at a domestic
level, as emerged from interviews, was not differentiated.
This situation unfortunately reflects a shortfall on the part of local administrations in this respect. In this
connection, all the institutions and administrations at the local and provincial level were contacted during
the project.
A questionnaire was sent to each of them about general knowledge of the norms governing waste, both
at a national and a European level. The questionnaire also asked about how waste recycling was organi-
zed in that area. With the exception of six cases, all of those interviewed declared they were not able to
answer the questions asked, not even those of a general nature. It is therefore absolutely essential to set
up a network in the territory to raise awareness among administrators about this subject and stimulate
them to introduce effective management systems.

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3.2 Analysis of the pilot floriculture farms According to the same decree, waste from agriculture or agro-industrial waste is classified as special
waste (art. 184). The dangerous and non-dangerous special waste which occurs most often in floricul-
ture, with the exception of organic waste, is:
From a quantitative analysis, it emerged very clearly that the greatest part of the waste produced is orga-
nic waste (Figure 17). This is mainly made up of the residues of crops produced when they are packed
to produce the final product, or in any case when they are prepared for sale.
This type of waste was at least 82% of the waste produced in the cases considered and in some cases
Non-dangerous special waste
was 98-99% of the waste. mulching film, shading nets or other uses
It is therefore necessary to analyze in detail the methods of disposal which could be used for this type Plastic materials Irrigation hoses or parts of hoses, Sacks or CER 020104
of waste. other containers
Seed containers, fertilizer containers, CER 150105-
Flower-growing containers etc. CER 150106
Packaging Plastic CER 150102
kg Plastic Paper Glass Organic Glass CER 150107
7000 Metal CER 150104
Used vegetable oils CER 200125
Used tyres CER 160103
6000 CER 150102
5000 Pesticides containers 150105
Green waste of a type not for re-use as
CER 020199
per normal agricultural practices
3000 Dangerous special waste
Old engine, brake, hydraulic gear parts Machine use CER 130205
2000 Old batteries Machine use CER 160601
Scrap vehicles and cars Machine use CER 160104
1000 Out-of-date pesticides CER 020108
Containers of unused pesticides CER 150110
Out-of-date or unusable animal medici-
0 CER 180205
A1 A2 A4 A5 A6 A7
Table 9. Classification of the most frequent types of agricultural and agro-industrial waste in agriculture (Leg. Dec. 152/2006
Figure 17. Quantitative analysis of the types of waste mainly produced by the pilot floriculture farms.
art. 184).

3.3 Management of agricultural waste 3.4 Waste dumps

In the first place, we will give an overall picture of the different types of waste and the general methods Once waste has been produced, the first thing to do is to identify an area where the waste is to be kept.
of disposal and then we will look more closely at green waste, for the reasons given above, and According to current legislation, waste can be kept temporarily in the place where it has been produced.
pesticide containers as there was general confusion and uncertainty amongst the floriculture farmers Temporary storage precedes collection and is not part of waste management or storing, recovery or
contacted. disposal and is therefore not subject to authorization even though precise rules must be followed.
First of all we need to define what is meant by the term waste. According to Legislative Decree The waste must be collected in a place or building which prevents it from being dispersed, polluting the
152/2006, there is a subjective element to the definition as it is something which the person who owns soil or water, causing hygiene-health problems or, in general, damage to objects or people. In temporary
it wishes to get rid of. waste deposits, waste should be stored in groups of similar type, like for example, plastic, packaging
This condition is seen when materials or substances are collected at a disposal centre and when they etc. Different types of waste should not be mixed. In particular, dangerous and non-dangerous waste
are abandoned or disposed of in an illicit way. should not be mixed.

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If the waste is stored in an enclosed space, it must be adequately aired

and if the waste is liquid, anti-expansion measures must be adopted 3.6 What to do
Temporary waste (there is a kit for this purpose) using absorbent materials which are
storage before collection then to be disposed of as waste. For dangerous waste, in accor- 3.6.1 NOTIFYING THE REGISTRY OF WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANIES
is not subject to any dance with the law, a label must be displayed which shows the The following information must be supplied:
authorization, but it CER code, a description of the waste and, most importantly, farm address and activity which produces waste;
should be done according the letter R (in black on a yellow background). Temporary sto- characteristics of the waste produced;
to certain rules rage must be in the place where the waste is produced and identifying details and characteristics of the technical suitability of vehicles used for transport and
may consist of a store or a covered area with waterproof, co- the methods by which the transport is carried out;
vered flooring. It is not permitted to transport the waste from confirmation of payment of an annual registration fee (50).
one place to another where waste is produced except when The waste identification form must contain the following information:
the movement is between sites belonging to the same producer name and address of producer;
and the distance is less than 10 km. In this case, public roads may original type and quantity of the waste;
be used and no documents or notifications are necessary. destination dump (name, address);
For temporary storage, to comply with the law, there are two alternative criteria: volume and time. date and route.

Volume: a maximum of 30 kg of waste can be stored. A maximum of 10 kg of this can be dangerous There have to be four copies of the form dated and signed (by the producer, storer and transporter who
waste. in this case would be one and the same person the farmer). One copy stays with the producer, two
Previously, under Leg. Dec. 152/2006, the maximum was 20 kg of waste with a maximum of 10 kg with the transporter (who sends one of them to the final destination) and one to the dump. The copies
of this dangerous waste. Leg. Dec. 205/2010 increased the quantities to those above. are kept for 5 years. The forms are numbered and certified by the Accounts Office at the Chamber of
Time: differentiated waste in temporary storage in the place of production, with no limit to dangerous N.B. If transportation is occasional or carried out a maximum of 4 times, the maximum quantity each time
waste, which comes from harvesting, must be collected and disposed of within a maximum time limit is 30 kg/litre up to an annual total of 100 kg/litre.
of three months.

N.B. Even when the farmer chooses to store by volume, the storage period cannot exceed 3.6.2 LOADING AND UNLOADING REGISTER
one year. This register only needs to be completed by producers of dangerous waste. It must contain all the
information relating to the type, quality and quantity of the waste to be transported. The notes must be
entered within 10 days of the production of the waste and its delivery. These registers are kept on the
farm premises and like the identification forms must be numbered, certified and managed in the same
3.5 Transport way as VAT registers. Like the Identification forms, they must be kept entire for 5 years. Farms which
produce less than 10 tons of non-dangerous waste and less than 2 tons of dangerous waste can dele-
Our legislation partially permits farmers to collect and transport their own waste. In this case too, the law gate the completion of the loading and unloading register to business associations or business service
differentiates between dangerous and non-dangerous waste. Non-dangerous waste can be transpor- agencies directly linked to them. In this case, completion can be effected within 30 days of production.
ted in any quantity while dangerous waste must not exceed 30 kg/litre a day. Transport is permitted on There are computer versions of the Register which can be used but these too have to be printed and
condition that: certified.
this operation is an integral, additional part of the organization of the farm which produces the waste; N.B. If the transportation is carried out by a public organization or public hygiene services, the producer
the farm notifies (with simplified procedures) the transport of this waste to the regional office of the does not need to complete the form.
register of waste management;
the waste is accompanied by a Waste Identification Form;
IN THE CASE OF DANGEROUS WASTE the producer must keep track of the waste production
and its disposal treatment through a Waste Loading and Unloading Register and, before 30 April,
using the information noted in the register, must complete the Annual Environmental Declaration
(MUD) at the local Chamber of Commerce. Companies with a turnover of less than 8,000 are
excluded from these procedures.

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3.7 Waste disposal of and in particular sub-products used directly by the farm which it produces or markets for the
profit of the farm itself for consumption or for use without the need of preliminary transformation
in a later production process. For the latter purpose, preliminary transformation means any ope-
Dangerous and non-dangerous waste, after transport, must be disposed of either by public hygiene ration which makes the sub-product lose its identity or the marketing characteristics of the quality
services with specific agreements or at dumps or with specialized expert companies. and properties it already possesses and which makes it necessary for a later use of a productive
All the regulations to follow in accordance with current legislation before the waste is disposed of are process or for consumption. Use of sub-products must be certain and not simply possible
summarized in Figure 18.
What are the processes this type of material could undergo to transform it into a resource?
There are two main uses which these sub-products can be put to: composting and the production of
TRANSPORT BY PRODUCER AND different types of energy.
Composting consists of generating a material which can be used as an agent to improve soil. It is a pro-
cess of microbial degradation of organic materials with or without aerobic bacteria. For the production
Limited quantity In public dumps
NON-DANGE- Max. 30 kg or 3 months
and use of compost see the guidelines on this subject.
Entered on Environmental Management or using specialized
ROUS It is possible to use organic waste to produce energy of various types. These are summarized in Table
Register Waste Identification Form companies
10 (Candolo 2005).
Max 30 kg/a day
Entered on Environmental In public dumps or
Max 10 kg
DANGEROUS Management Register Waste using specialized
or max 3 months
Identification Form MUD waste loading companies
TREATMENT Name Description
Figure 18. Norms regulating waste deposits, transport and disposal of dangerous and non-dangerous agricultural waste.
Transformation of biomass
using heat without oxygen
CONVERSION Incomplete oxidization of

3.8 Management of green waste Gasification

the carbon compost at
high temperature (about
Ethanol for use as fuel
1,000C) without oxygen
Organic waste can be considered waste or not, depending on what use the producer decides to Anaerobic oxidization with
make of it. Fermentation transformation of sugars into Combustible gas
If the producer decides to throw it away, then it is treated as waste. On the other hand the producer may ethyl alcohol (ethanol)
decide to transform this waste into a resource and use it to produce compost or energy. BIOLOGICAL The process of conver-
In the latter case, the waste comes under the norms in Law 129 of 13 August 2010 which modifies art. CONVERSION sion produced by bacteria
185 of Leg. Dec 152/2006 and states that manure or vegetation which comes from scything or which from a biomass rich
pruning to maintain public and private green areas or from agriculture, used in agriculture, even in cellulose gives a biogas
containing about 65% of
in a place where they were not produced, or given to third parties, or used on farms to produce methane
energy or heat, or biogas, or stone materials or growing compost, even in mud form, if they come
from the cleaning or washing of agricultural products, re-used in normal agricultural activities and Table 10. Technical solutions for using organic waste which can be treated to produce energy (Candolo 2005).
in preparing foundations shall be considered subproducts and not waste.
Thanks to this articles modifications, off-cuts from scything or pruning in public or private green areas
and agriculture are more easily dealt with as sub-products. This was not so clear in the previous version
of the article. The use of these treatment techniques, both for compost and for producing energy, in the provinces of
Imperia and Savona, and in Liguria in general, are somewhat problematic because of the territory itself.
Leg. Dec. 152/2006 defines sub-products as: There are some biomass plants in Liguria and in the two abovementioned provinces which mainly deal
products from a farms activity which, although not part of the main activity, are continually with biomass from forests (http://www. agriligurianet.it/Agrinet/DTs_GENERALE/20111025/Relazione_
produced by the farms activity itself and are destined to be used for another purpose or for riassuntiva_buone_pratiche.pdf).
consumption. They are not subject to the conditions laid out in part four of this decree in which Up to now, organic waste from agriculture has not been considered as raw material for the production
a farm is not obliged to get rid of sub-products it does not use and has not decided to get rid of energy and it is necessary, in the light of the results obtained, to evaluate the possibility of using it in

120 121
come risorsa:
e smaltimento
il compostaggio
dei rifiuti

a more concrete way, taking into account its chemical and physical characteristics and the real effecti-
veness and sustainability of such a use.
This waste has a thermal power of about 4,000 kcal/kg as compared with about 10,000 kcal/kg from
many fossil fuels. Liguria is also special in that it has mountains which come right down to the sea and
in addition to its steep slopes, a frequently mild climate.
Therefore, although the climate favours cultivation, the land conformation does not lend itself to tran-
sport, exchanges or the installation of large structures.
Constructing industrial composting plants or energy production plants in Liguria is difficult to imagine be-
cause of the large areas needed for the plants and the equally large areas needed for storing materials,
not to mention the difficult logistics involved. This would probably need a big investment in combustible
fossil fuels for transporting material to the plants.
In addition, these plants could infringe on inhabited or tourist areas. This has already happened in some
places in Liguria and produced serious social problems.
This complicated situation would therefore certainly mean problems of economic efficiency and would
need to be evaluated very carefully.
It would seem therefore, more sensible to begin to plan for both possibilities, to use companies or small, USING AGRICULTURAL ORGANIC
local consortiums. This would keep both environmental and transport costs down, make storage more
feasible and make it more acceptable to local communities.

Giovanni Minuto, Federico Tinivella

Composting, or stabilization, is a process of transformation which is a combination of technology and

the biological treatment of organic substances consisting of stabilizing organic waste and refuse is
classified in Legislative Decree 3 December 2010 n. 205, Appendix C, point R3, as a waste recovery
operation. The composting process takes place in the presence of oxygen and the aerobic conditions
are aimed at guaranteeing that the starting mix fermentation is reduced by mineralization of the more
degradable organic components and a biologically stable product is obtained. At the same time, hygie-
ne objectives are achieved by a phase of raising the temperature, T, caused by the metabolic activity
of micro-organisms. The biomass is pasteurized, that is it reaches a temperature of at least 55C for at
least three days.
The natural degradation and humidifying processes of organic substances (forest beds, piles of manu-
re), are reproduced in controlled conditions until a stable fertilizer is obtained. It is called compost and
has the characteristics of humus.

4.1 The choice of materials

The materials used to produce compost are vegetable and animal wastes. The former contain cellulose
and lignin (which both degrade very slowly) which are important structuring agents. The latter, however,
produces a different composition as the content of rapidly degradable organic substances is higher as
are the quantities of micro and macro elements.
These high fermentation biomasses with a low degree of structuring, benefit from the addition of a gre-
ater or lesser quantity of vegetal material in order to create a mixture of organic materials which is more
suited to the composting process.

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Using agricultural organic waste as a resource: composting

Oxygen consumption and its diffusion inside the biomass in transformation, is a fundamental factor material - and the advantages the techniques have to offer as well as the ability to control the ther-
throughout the process. It creates a necessary balance between the accumulation of organic sub- modynamics during the process.
stances and the porosity of the mass which are managed according to the procedures adopted. The for dynamic heaps, windrows, trenches or basins, closing areas dedicated to Active Composting
fundamental operations carried out during the process are: Time (ACT) is optional and generally linked to the need to check, manage or eliminate
periodic reconstitution of porosity: this is done by turning over the mass at long or short inter- the impact of potential bad smells.
vals which produces a momentary increase in the quantity of oxygen in the biomass, but is not in The use of
itself sufficient aeration unless other passive and/or forced methods of diffusion are added; However, if we must establish unified criteria of evaluation, closed systems closed
passive diffusion: can guarantee (for contained fermentation biomasses with/without sufficient tend to be more attractive during the initial composting phase, especially systems during
porosity like biological waste) oxygenation alone with occasional turning over if required; for plants where humid, fermentable waste from differentiated collection the initial phase
forced diffusion (aspiration or insufflation systems of aeration of the biomass): gives thermody- is to be treated, for the following reasons: of composting is
namic control of the process. Using the air of the system to drain excess heat and/or humidity, it the type and composition of the matrices: the absence of VGF preferable
controls all the factors influencing the speed and effectiveness of the microbes. (Vegetable, Garden and Fruit collection strategies, i.e. the part of
The composting process requires a pre-treatment aimed at conditioning the physical nature of the ma- biological household waste with low fermentation. This method of col-
terials which will undergo the bioconversion process (shredding, sanding, deferrization, mixing/blending) lection is widespread in Holland and exists here and there in Germany
or separating out foreign bodies or other undesirable elements present (dimensional screening, magne- and Austria.) These strategies produce a medium-low biomass and without them it is advisable to
tic separation etc.). adopt techniques which allow us to control the critical composition of the biomass;
the general configuration of a great part of Italy, which tends to be quite crowded from an anthropic
point of view (for the activities carried out as well as for the actual inhabited areas);
4.2 Composting techniques the need to adopt techniques which allow for maximum control of the process and complete con-
trol of the impact.
Another classification difference in techniques for composting with a strong relevance for evaluating the
There is a wide choice of composting techniques which, however, may be summarized in two funda-
congruence of technique and operational situation, is the one between systems which offer mechani-
mental types: OPEN and CLOsED systems.
sms requiring resting (static) positions.
In the latter case, the process is carried out in physically confined spaces (containers, bioreactors) or
in covered, buffered areas (barns) with the twin aims of better control of the processes (relatively in-
dependently of weather conditions) and, most importantly, for greater control of environmental effects
(management control, abatement of smells).
The reliability of open systems in meeting the conditions for the process and containing the impact de- 4.3 Operating model for composting green waste
pends on some basic conditions (alternative or synergic):
low fermentation rate of matrices, e.g. composting only green waste; The characteristics which distinguish green waste (low fermentation, low percolating water release)
high percentage (e.g. over 60-70% p/p) of lignocellulose bulking, which allows static compo- mean it can be managed in the open in points or areas equipped for composting, using a typical
sting systems to be used (see later), avoiding smells caused by movement; extensive process with low energy input and long processing times.
localizing the process to typically rural or semi-rural areas (e.g. compost from animal The process cycle, as shown in figure 19, starts with an initial phase of pre-conditioning (shredding)
droppings where animals are bred etc.). which usually also serves to mix substances of different sized pieces. Then the mixture is heaped
in triangular piles, in trapeziums (which allow greater freedom from atmospheric conditions and
Open systems can be planned to keep costs and management down at the next stage of the process considerable space saving) or on the soil (which is only effective if there are large surface areas).
(the maturing or curing stage), at which there is a decrease in putrescence and the dynamic metabo- The heaps serve as natural reactors which provide aerobic stabilization guaranteed by the porosity
lism typical in the humidifying processes and consequently: of the subsoil and assisted by occasional turning over (this is done, on average every 2-8 weeks,
less possibility of putrid smells or inversely proportional to any pieces of wood extracted by the shredding). If there is a good per-
reduced consumption of oxygen centage of structural material present it helps to maintain the aerobic conditions easily. After a few
a less forcible hygrometric and thermometric dynamic and less need to control thermodynamics. months, the material can be considered sufficiently stable to be moved to under-cover storage
after any necessary refining. The heart of the process is without doubt the shredding. During this
All of this means that less intensive techniques can be used which require lower levels of control of the phase any woody substances must be pulped but without causing an excessive general decrease
process. in the size of pieces. This means that the best tools to use are hammer or auger shredders and not
All the techniques can be used in closed spaces. However: knife chippers.
for some systems (biocontainers, silos, biodrums) confining the biomass and defining physical
limits goes against the nature of the technique itself - which was made to contain and manage the

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Using agricultural organic waste as a resource: composting

Reception and
technical solutions, some of which are part of the transition to extensive composting systems (e.g. static
storage aerated heaps).
Managing highly fermentable biomasses obviously requires consideration of planned processes which
influence management and planning choices.
Shredding Figure 20 is a flow chart of a dynamic plant for treating biomasses with high fermentation.
and mixing

Maturing in heaps waste Reception, analysis

with natural ventilation > 40mm and inspection
Deposit for
green waste
40 mm

(any necessary)
Shredding Discharged air
Screening and mixing treatment
25 mm

Soil Mulch
< 25mm > 25mm, <40 mm
ACT in dynamic
20 days trench
final processes
and marketing

70 days Curing in turned

Wood over windrows
Figure 19. Operational diagram for industrial green waste composting.

10 or 20 mm

Figure 20. Flow chart of dynamic technique plant for treating high fermentation biomass.
High fermentation waste for use in composting is:
Food residue (the biological part of the differentiated urban waste collected FOR-sU waste food
from restaurants etc.);
High putrescence agro-industrial biomass (waste from butchering, meat processing and horticultu- The biological process can therefore be summarized in two phases (obviously with pre-treatment before
ral production); and refinement and storage operations after):
Urban or agro-industrial purifying mud. 1. a first treatment phase in closed systems. This phase can take different lengths of time (from 4-5
Accelerated consumption of oxygen, lower porosity of the mass and the tendency towards a high hu- days to 20-30 days) according to the composition of the biomass and the technique used. Forced
midity level lead to the use of single or combined external processes (turning over, forced air insertion), air ventilation with specific high air volumes and/or systems of turning over, channelling used up air
as the quantity of energy necessary to sustain the aerobiosis of the biological process is high during the and systems for combating bad smells can be used;
initial phase and decreases along with the decomposition of the organic matter (progressive minerali- 2. a second phase in open systems for further maturing of the material (the curing phase) using
zation of the more degradable components) and humidity in the mass. In reality, different combinations rather more time-consuming techniques (low-frequency turning over and/or forced air ventilation
of the frequency of turning over and systems of introduction of air may give the possibility of different with specific low volume of air). The length of this phase is approximately 20-90 days. This is the

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Using agricultural organic waste as a resource: composting

minimum length of time to achieve perfect stability and for the physiological compatibility of the final Using temperature parameters, three types of compost can be identified.
product for plants. However, the length of this phase depends on the conditions of its management 1. Fresh compost: hygienically treated material still undergoing biological transformation and there-
as well as the stability reached after the ACT phase. There is no need for systems to reduce smells. fore not stable. It is very rich in fundamental nutritive elements for soil fertilisation and plant nutrition.
The agronomic objective is to obtain a versatile product which is not confined to use in less demanding As it can release these elements very easily it is preferable not to use it in direct contact with roots,
environments regarding biochemical stability. while it can be used in horticulture at a set time between seeding and transplanting the crop. This
Figure 21 represents a typical balance of mass to management of high fermentation waste to obtain a type of compost lasts about 3 months (2/4 months when composted in heaps) and has a C/N ratio
mixed fertilizing compost. of 30-40.
2. Prepared or stabilized compost: hygienically treated material which is completely stabilized
and no longer produces heat from biological micro-organisms, with a life of about 4-8 months and
a C/N ratio of 20. The usable nitrogen content (incorporated in new cell material) is less than in
the previous type because there is a greater loss of this element into the atmosphere in the form
of ammonia because of a lack of stabilization of the nitrogen itself. This gives the product a less
noticeable fertilizing effect and a not yet high degree of humidity, although above the level of that
in fresh compost. This type of compost is suitable for use in open fields and gardens as fertilizer
immediately before sowing or transplanting.
3. Mature or seasoned compost: material which has had a long maturation phase with the pro-
100% waste entry duction of a significant quantity of humus substances. It has a life of between 12 and 24 months
and a C/N ratio of 15, that is it has a fertilizing effect which is inferior to both the other two types.
Because of its physical characteristics (degree of refinement) and its perfect stability, however, it
30% loss can be used not only as a food and fertilizer, but also as substrate for floriculture and nurseries.
Bio-oxidation for processing Therefore it can have direct contact with the roots and seeds even at critical moments (germination,
and maturing
rooting etc.).
The final product has always undergone refinement processes to completely remove foreign bodies or
any elements which have not decomposed.
70% Mature mixture


wood Chemical-physical analyses are generally carried out on compost fertilizers using biological tests aimed
waste -40% at giving a more integrated and complete picture of the material in question:
10 mm screen
phytotoxicity test for the presence of substances which inhibit plant growth which are there because
unloading of incorrect or incomplete biomass transformation;
Plastic nitrogen mineralization test to determine the stability of organic materials on the basis of the existing
waste -10% balance between organic and mineral nitrogen;
respiration test to evaluate the intensity of microbial activity. After the active phase and following
decrease in biological activity, the intensity of respiration decreases greatly until it reaches very low
values in a stable material.
20% fertilizing
mixed compost A mixture containing only organic waste needs a more limited series of checks,. while more frequent
ones are needed for more complex matrices as well as when automated closed reactor processes are
Long experience has shown that the entire length of transformation is not normally less than 60-70 days,
Figure 21. Balance of mass to a system for obtaining a fertilizing mixed compost.
and about 1/3 of this time (or even longer) should be passed in bio-oxidative controlled conditions.
To summarize, it is possible to say that humus substances and, more generally, the organic substances
contained in compost can perform very important functions for the soil such as:
guaranteeing sufficient porosity and water retention capacity;
increasing the exchange rates of the most important elements and chemicals;
preventing excessive washout;

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Using agricultural organic waste as a resource: composting

decreasing land erosion; 4.4.1 METHODS AND DOSES TO USE IN AGRICULTURE

combating all the phenomena which lead to desertification of soil, especially on cultivated land. The methods and dosages of compost to use vary greatly depending on the sector. This fertilizer can be
used as an alternative to manure in cereal-forage crops, horticulture, floriculture and in general in open
field cultivation, but some characteristics widen the possibilities for its use. Generally, for all herbaceous
crops in open fields and in horticulture, the recommended dosages are about 100-200 q/ha or 1-2
4.4 Using compost kg/sq.m. Table 12 shows the amount of nutrients in relation to the dosages of fertilizer examined and
compared with that using manure.
The positive contribution compost makes as a fertilizer in soil used to grow herbaceous, fruit or vine
plants has now been proved through numerous experiments and tests carried out in Italy in various
research centres. In recent years there has been an increase in the quantity used in open fields for large
crops. This is a tangible sign of farmers growing confidence in this new and innovative method from the Agronomic doses of fertilizer
huge choice of fertilizers available. Amount of nutrients (in kg)
Let us now look at a concrete example: a compost produced by a compost plant produces mixed N P K
compost fertilizers in the province of Turin. Mixed compost fertilizer DM=65%
Table 11 shows the results of analyses carried out on the compost in an accredited Sinal laboratory. 100 q/ha 120 77 27
200 q/ha 240 155 54
Note the consistent content of organic substances and nutrients. The results are then compared with
Manure DM=25%
cattle manure to highlight the differences. 250 q/ha 125 26 145
500 q/ha 250 52 290

% DM %OS as rec. %N as rec. % P as rec. % K as rec. Table 12. Amount of nutrients provided by MCF and manure. Abbrevs.: amount of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium
(K) in kg.
Mixed compost fertilizer* 65 24-36 1-1.2 0.69-0.86 0.17-0.37
Manure** 25 15-18 0.5 0.2 0.6

Table 11. The value of some parameters measured on ACM and manure. Abbrevs: DM: dry matter; OS: organic substances;
N.P. K: % of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium as they are; *Data analysis, ** bibliographical data.


Regarding the tests carried out in the project, it is possible to give the following guidelines on the use of
The fertilizer from the plant has a higher concentration of nutrients than the manure in which the agrono-
compost as a component of the substrate for growing ornamental species in pots. As has previously
mic dosages to use are lower.
been said, a large part of the waste which can be used for compost comes from offcuts of plants and
The high P content makes it particularly suitable for soil which has low quantities of this element and/or
trees, from residue in the vegetable industry, from the marketing of agricultural products during the pre-
for crops which use a lot of it. The relative lack of potassium means it is necessary to integrate it with
paration or transformation and from organic urban waste. There is also a wide range of waste materials
mineral potassium fertilizers.
with the chemico-physical properties which can improve the quality of compost which is to be used as
One of the most important characteristics of compost is without doubt its ability to release nutritional
a component of substrate for floriculture farms. This waste can be used to develop a compost mixture
elements into the soil slowly. These are then made available to the plants gradually and this prolongs the
which can add qualities to the substrate which were not originally present for high value agriculture.
positive effects through the years. This is very important for nitrogen, as it limits losses from washout.
We can say, in fact, that while 10% of this element may be considered to be readily available, 30% is
Waste like residues left over from processing hazelnuts, wool, mattresses or olives has characteristics
rendered usable in the course of cultivation and the rest has a residual effect in time.
which are good for the final compost as they improve its drainage quality or, on the contrary, when ne-
The effect of fertilizers is not limited to providing nutritional elements (especially N, P and k); they are also
cessary, help water retention. The results obtained indicate some important things to remember. In the
important for providing organic substances with improvement in general fertility. Organic substances:
first place, compost is difficult to use just as it is. However, mixed with 50% peat or other materials, it can
encourage the formation of aggregates in the soil, improving its structure and workability, the prepa-
give good results. This is already important in itself as it means that reliance on peat can be significantly
ration of the seed bed and penetration of the roots;
reduced. Even the partial repression of telluric pathogens which compost provides is of great practical
reduce erosion and washout;
interest which can and must be put to practical use. Results obtained from testing the effect of some
control humidity in the usable layer;
composts on ornamental aromatic plants have confirmed it is possible to use some of them in floricul-
Improve microfauna and microflora actions.
ture when mixed with peat in proportions between 20 and 60% and some of them lead to much better
results than using peat alone.

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Using agricultural organic waste as a resource: composting

Green waste Compost-based substrates, which may slow down the development References
can be used to produce of root growth in the initial stages of cultivation because of their AA.VV. (1998) Compost. Classificazione, requisiti e modalit di impiego. Norma Italiana UNI 10780. Ente
compost mixtures which high easily soluble mineral content, as the crop progresses, Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione, 74 pp.
have characteristics with irrigation which may have a washout effect and in the
AA.VV. (1998) Metodi di analisi dei compost Determinazioni chimiche, fisiche, biologiche e microbiolo-
not originally present in light of growing demand from the crop, can encourage
giche Analisi merceologiche. Collana Ambiente, Regione Piemonte, Assessorato Ambiente, 96 pp.
the mix which can be a higher growth rate than peat alone. This fact is very
Bertoldi M., Sequi P., Lemmes B. e Papi T. (1996) The Science of Composting. Blackie Academic &
used in high value probably related to the quantity and frequency of irri-
Professional, Glasgow, 1405 pp.
agriculture. Tests carried gation which can reduce the mineral salt content and
out confirm that some any possible phytotoxic effects. The greater mineral Centemero M. (1997) I connotati tecnici degli impianti di compostaggio: condizioni di esercizio e mer-
composts can be used content in compost, in particular nitrogen, after the first cato dei prodotti. Scuola del Parco di Monza.
in floriculture when mixed stages of development of the crop and once the roots Favoino E., Centemero M. (1997) Sistemi e tecnologie per il compostaggio: il processo ed i presidi
with from 20 to 60% have spread, allows the crop to grow faster than when ambientali. Scuola del Parco di Monza.
of peat peat alone is used and because of the better substra- Gonzalez R.F., Cooperband L.R. (2002) Compost effects on soil physical properties and field nursery
te, a high quality product is achieved. production. Compost Science and Utilization, 10, 226-237.
However, it is worth noting that some of the waste which
Lens P., Hamelers B., Hoitink H., Bidlingmaier W. (2004) Resource Recovery and Reuse in Organic Solid
can improve the agronomic characteristics of compost is used in
Waste Management. Iwa Publishing, London, UK, 516 pp.
other sectors like energy production (some residues from hazelnut and olive processing), or is available
for agrarian use only in small quantities (wool, mattress and cork making). As a consequence, although Silvvestri S., Zorzi G. (2006) Tecnologie di compostaggio della frazione organica putrescibile (umido)
there is a large quantity of waste which could potentially be used for its qualities in compost, only some da raccolta differenziata. Seminario Workshop Gestione della sostanza organica putrescibile nello
of it is in fact usable in large quantities and therefore the compost producer can only rely on these to give smaltimento dei rifiuti solidi, Montegrotto Terme (Padova), 5-7 aprile 2006.
the final product the qualities necessary for the agriculture sector. Zorzi G., Cristoforetti A., Odorini G., Andreotta G. (2001) Trattamenti biologici della frazione organica.
The concept of the quality of a compost depends on the use it is destined for. If it is for use on floriculture Atti del 50 Seminario di aggiornamento Sanitaria-Ambientale. Gestione Integrata dei rifiuti solidi urbani
farms, not only is it particularly important to measure the physical and chemical parameters required by Milano 29/05-01/06/2001.
the law, but it is also necessary to evaluate the main agronomic characteristics. Among these, evaluation
of plant growth, rooting and development can help to define the characteristics of the right compost as
well as other indications like the maturation index obtained by measuring the production of CO2 content.
At http://www.cersaa.it/download.html instructions it is possible to download the analyses of compost
characteristics from an agronomic point of view. However, we must always remember that the success
of a compost depends greatly on the type of starting material used, the level of maturation reached and
the composting process adopted. High variability in the materials and methods can lead to results that
are completely opposite to those expected.

132 133

Paolo Vassallo, Chiara Paoli, Fabiana Morandi, Elena Neri, Valentina Niccolucci, Nicoletta Patrizi, Federico M. Pulselli, Simone

The concept of Sustainable Development was formulated and formalized by the Brundtland Commis-
sion in 1987 (WCED 1987). It is thanks to this Commission that the fundamental importance of the
interdependence of social, economic and environmental problems was highlighted. It is from this report
that the definition of sustainable development came, as development which satisfies the needs of the
present without compromising the capacity of future generations to satisfy their own specific needs.
On the basis of this principle, during the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Develop-
ment, the dictates of Sustainable Development were formulated. They achieved a high consensus, lar-
gely due to a certain vagueness about the concepts which define sustainability itself. As a consequence,
the adoption of practices for sustainable development was reduced on one side to reassuring phrases
from governments and to strategies for conquering new markets from private, economically-interested
parties and on the other became the banner and bulwark of societys struggle against globalization. This
led to general disillusionment, strongly expressed in Earth Summit + 5 (Osborne et al. 1998) and to a
kind of mystification of the fairly complex concept of sustainable development which was simplified in
the interests of economic development and the fight against pollution.
A more concrete formulation of the fundamental principles of the basic concept of sustainable develop-
ment, however, came from Herman Daly (1990).
These principles can be summarized as:
the rate of exploitation of renewable natural resources must not exceed their rate of regeneration;
emissions from production processes and consumption should not exceed the absorption capacity
of the surrounding environment;
a third principle regarding the use of non-renewable resources is also shown to be necessary
because the modern economy is essentially based on the consumption of fossil fuels and mineral
the consumption of non-renewable resources must be compensated for by an adequate produc-
tion of renewable resources.

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Floriculture: balancing sustainability

Exceeding these limits means consumption of Natural Capital (Jansson et al. 1994; Faber et al. 1995; Our economic system mainly depends on non-renewable resources, and the more we use them the
Faucheux and OConnor 1998; Lutz 1993). The expression natural capital means stock which produ- more they can be exhausted in a definable, finite time. The constant search for more and more wealth,
ces a flow of natural resources, for example a fish population which generates a flow of fish to the mar- which continues to this day, is not conducive to conserving the environment and the resources ne-
ket, a forest which generates timber, reserves of petrol whose drilling provides fuels (Daly 1994; Ekins et cessary for our survival. We therefore need to formulate and adopt new measuring tools, which, most
al. 2003). If natural capital is not kept intact, the heritage and services nature offers us are diminished. importantly, can identify the total resources used independently of whether they are considered or not
A declining natural capital is an unmistakable sign of unsustainability (Vitousek et al. 1997). The evolution in the economy.
of the human economy has passed from an era in which the capital generated by man was the limiting Inspired by these concepts and principles Emergy Analyses and the Ecological Footprint were identified
factor to economic development to the present era in which the limiting factor has become natural ca- as tools to be used in 5 pilot floriculture farms in the Flower and Nursery District (western Liguria). The
pital. aim was to investigate the level of sustainability in the floriculture sector and draw up general guidelines
According to economic theory logic, we should maximize the productivity of the limiting factor and try to for the sector. In practical terms, we needed to analyze what type of resources the floriculture farm used
increase its generation. This means that new policies must aim at increasing and not only preserving, and quantify them in a single integrated scale of measurement to have an overall assessment of their
natural capital and concentrate less on capital generated by man. This implies a radical change in the function and hypothesize new strategies for improvement.
economic paradigm, especially considering that at the present rate of consumption of resources and So the first step was to carry out a careful inventory of all the resources used. This required a thorough
production of waste and emissions, the flow of natural products no longer satisfies the annual human knowledge of the floriculture farm and the mechanisms involved in the production chain. It was neces-
demand. The overshoot day14 is that day, during a solar year, when mankind exhausts the current re- sary to take account of all resources used, both natural and man-made. (Figure 23).
sources offered by the environment. We can no longer exploit the resources produced in that year and
must make inroads into the capital. Greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere, waste and pol- Once all the resources had been identified, it was then necessary to quantify the annual amount used
lutants on the surface. Resources are exhausted and mineral deposits are more and more expensive to of each one of them. For each resource, a quantity was obtained, which was, however, expressed in
use. Nature struggles to offer the same capacity for providing goods and services as in previous years. different units of measurement. In this way it is not possible to compare the different elements, especially
This is all at the expense of our current well-being and even of the survival of our planet for future genera-
tions who will not have the same natural capital available with the same productive capacity. Calculations
show that, while in 1987 Overshoot Day was 19 December, in 1995 resources were exhausted by 21
November and this year by 22 August (Figure 22).







14 Aug

25 Jul

05 Jul

1987 1990 1995 2000 2002 2005 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

Figure 22. Dates of overshoot day from 1987 to now (from http://www.footprintnetwork.org). Figure 23. Conceptual diagram to explain the different methods employed in the analysis.

Literally, the day when mankind exhausts the resources produced by Earth during a solar year.

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SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Floriculture: balancing sustainability

with respect to those resources the economy does not take into consideration. It would be impossible We can arrive surement, can be measured in terms of emergy, that is in one common
to compare 1mm of rain in a year which contributes to crop maintenance with 1 joule of petrol used to at a real environmental way.
heat greenhouses. balance in floriculture The Ecological Footprint is a concise indicator of sustainability
For this reason, for the application of both methods, factors of conversion were used to express all the by subtracting from which requires the calculation of two indicators: the Ecological
resources used by the system in one single unit of measurement: respectively the Solar emergy Joule the local ecological Footprint (which evaluates the demand) and the biocapacity
in the Emergy Analyses and global hectares for the Ecological Footprint. land area available which estimates the yield (Monfreda et al. 2004) Calculating
An emergy analysis is a type of analysis which enables an environmental value to be assigned to each (biocapacity) the demands the Ecological Footprint for a given population (or an indivi-
resource by applying qualitative and quantitative factors aimed at evaluating real value. Emergy theory on this area from the local dual) means estimating the impact the population exerts on
is based on the presupposition that everything has energy content and everything needs a flow of ener- population the territory in terms of appropriation of ecologically produc-
gy and matter to be generated. (Ecological Footprint) tive land (earth and water) to produce the goods they need
and absorb the waste they produce. In the same way, the
Emergy measures the global convergence of solar energy necessary to obtain a certain product or to biocapacity is a reference point for the ecological limits. The fact
sustain a certain system. By definition emergy is the equivalent quantity of solar energy necessary, di- is that biocapacity measures what our planet can offer in the way
rectly or indirectly, to obtain a product or an energy flow in a given process. It covers a lot (the amount of resources and also what its capacity to absorb waste in an ecologically sustainable way is. The unit of
depends on the system dimensions) and its unit of measurement is the solar emergy Joule. In this way measurement for the Ecological Footprint and the Biocapacity is the global hectare (gha) or hectares of
it is possible to consider at the same time both the economic and environmental aspects of any system, ecologically productive land (Monfreda et al. 2004; Galli et al. 2007).
uniforming total inputs, flows and outputs to the corresponding solar energy equivalent: the base energy
which sets in motion all the processes found in the biosphere (Odum 1996). At the basis of the calculation of the Ecological Footprint there is, therefore, a double assumption: that it is
possible to estimate with some accuracy the resources and energy used and that it is possible to convert
In general, every system needs energy flow of a certain quality to generate better quality energy. For exam- these into the corresponding biologically productive land area necessary for replenishing resources and
ple, to produce electricity, we need a large quantity of energy in the form of fuel and conversion machinery. absorbing the waste which comes from their use.
The quantity of electricity is much less than the sum of the different types of energy necessary to produce The Ecological Footprint indicator takes on particular importance when it is used as a comparison tool
it. However, producing it may nevertheless be advantageous because electricity is much more versatile in comparative analyses, especially when compared with the availability of resources and the services
and better able to support the complex system of the machinery of which it is a part. Generally, we can provided by Nature, in other words biocapacity. It is therefore possible to arrive at a real environmental
say that a unit (Joule) of solar energy, a Joule from coal and a Joule from electricity, even though they are balance by subtracting from the local ecological land area available (biocapacity) the demands on this
the same quantity of energy, have different qualities in the sense that their potential is different. Since many area from the local population (Ecological Footprint). A negative result corresponds to an ecological
Joules of energy are required to obtain Joules of a better quality, to provide a possible measurement of the deficit and indicates a potentially unsustainable environmental situation in which the consumption of
quality and the ranking of different types of energy, the concept of transformity was introduced. Transfor- natural resources is greater than their regeneration in the local ecosystem. The Ecological Footprint is
mity (solar) is the quantity of solar energy needed in a direct or indirect way to obtain one Joule of another normally applied at a national level to analyze the sustainability of different life styles, but recently it has
type of energy. It represents a conversion coefficient of the input which can convert into the equivalent solar started to be used at a process/product level also. The Ecological Footprint of a product is calculated
energy all the energy flows of different origin which feed into the system (in our case, the flows calculated as the product of the flow of biological services necessary to bring the process to completion in a year
at the inventory stage). Transformity, differently from emergy, is intensive and its and is expressed in global hectares. The Ecological Footprint calculation for a product is used to identify
unit of measurement is the sej/J. The lower the transformity value, the more ecologically productive land areas necessary to sustain the whole production process from cradle to
the process is able to use the resources available in a rational and efficient grave. a product is, therefore, arrived at by the sum of two components, one visible and one invisible.
Emergy analyses
way. The visible one is the physical area occupied, while the invisible one takes into account all the inputs
mean that an
Emergy can therefore be considered as an energy memory, or a me- which come together in the production process converted to the land needed to support the production
environmental value
mory of all the solar energy necessary to support a certain system, of each specific input. The area calculated in this way is no longer an actual land area, but an area which
can be assigned to every
taking into consideration both all the energy expended on all the takes account of average productivity by considering all the land necessary to produce the resources
resource by applying
internal transformation processes in the system and that involved used and to absorb the waste generated during the production process.
qualitative and quantitative
in all the phases of the process itself. To calculate the Ecological Footprint (EF) of a product, as for energy analysis, we need to have an inven-
factors aimed at evaluating
Energy analyses or traditional economic analyses normally ne- tory which lists all the necessary inputs to sustain the process being analyzed. Afterwards, each of these
real value
glect input which they are not capable of evaluating either on inputs, whether expressed in units of weight (kg) or of energy (J) is converted into global hectares. The
an energy or a monetary basis. In this way, given that different in- results of applying the two methods on the 5 floriculture farms selected initially showed a general deficit
puts have different units of measurement (grams for minerals, kWh on their part in cataloguing data. Indeed, it was not possible in any of the cases to arrive at the data for
for electricity, hours of work etc.), a complete result is impossible. However, consumption of the necessary resources. It was often necessary to do the calculations and estimates in
when transformity, or emergy content, is attributed to a product, every input, regardless of its unit of mea- the presence of the flower grower and there was a general inadequacy, if not complete lack, regarding
systems of charting consumption.

138 139
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Floriculture: balancing sustainability

Floriculture farms need to be provided with information and it would be advisable that institutions, districts used in the pre-marketing phase, minor structures (stores, refrigeration units etc.) and materials for packa-
and relevant bodies saw to it that the gardeners had a uniform, single system of accounting. ging (plastic bags, pots etc.) account for an average of 26%.
The technical results of applying the two methods, though they were applied to very different types of Energy consumption, however, accounts for less than 20% (Figure 24).
floriculture farm, allow us to make some general evaluations.
To compare the floriculture farms in terms of efficiency it is possible to use an indicator called emergy
Using Emergy Analyses enabled us to identify the types of resources used on the floriculture farm and the density, which is obtained from the ratio of energy used by the business to its land area. This allows us
sectors which cause the greatest difficulty at the level of sustainability. To finish a process all 5 floriculture to understand how many resources the production process needs for the land area and therefore to
farm use resources which are 99% non-renewable. The inputs were subdivided into macro-categories: evaluate the real needs independently of size (Figure 25).
infrastructure, machinery, energy consumption, chemical products and fertilizers as well as human labour.
Among these, infrastructure accounts on average for 30% of the total emergy value and is the highest Farm 2 was the one which required the largest quantity of resources, while the one which required the
figure in three out of five of the floriculture farms. On the other two farms, the highest figures were the other least was farm 8. The resource demand per unit of area for farm 2 is almost 20 times more, in spite of
inputs in one case and energy consumption in the other. The other inputs which include all the materials the fact that it was 10 times smaller in size.




7.00E+16 2.00E+13





farm 2 farm 3 farm 5 farm 6 farm 8

Figure 25. Emergy density on the five floriculture farms analyzed.

farm 2 farm 3 farm 5 farm 6 farm 8

Figure 24. Emergy balance and the contribution of different elements of total energy use of the floriculture farms analyzed.

140 141
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Floriculture: balancing sustainability

The Ecological Footprint results, as well as confirming the results of applying emergy analyses, also
provide other important information as shown in Figure 27.
CONSUMPTION PRODUCTS INPUTS LABOUR All the floriculture farms showed a deficit, that is they are all using a quantity of resources superior to that
AND FERTILIZERS which nature provides on the land they are using (Table 13).

In fact, if we consider the ratio between the Ecological Footprint and the land occupied by a farm we can
100% see that the floriculture farms exploit a quantity of resources which would require extending, on average,
by 17 times, the land they have.
90% If we then weigh the land they occupy against the average capacity of the land to produce at a global
level, we can see that this ratio decreases. This indicates that the growers are located in a highly produc-
80% tive area. However, they still need to use a land area which is 4 times bigger than what they already have.






20% 20,00

farm 2 farm 3 farm 5 farm 6 farm 8
Figure 26. Emergy balance and contribution of different elements to the energy total.

gha yr

This is due to the choice of crop and the methods of carrying out the cultivation. Farm 8 is the only one
among those analyzed in which there are no greenhouses or tunnels and which grows crops in open 6,00
and shaded fields. For sure, considering the high influence of structures on the energy calculation, this
method of cultivation has a positive influence on the level of sustainability. However, by analyzing the 4,00
percentage distribution of the different components of the total emergy we note that their percentage
contribution is similar in the two floriculture farms. This is because the different type of structure has a 2,00
positive influence not only as far as concerns the structure itself, but also on the flows associated with
maintaining the crop.
Crops which require less artificial support from the structures they grow in also need less use of arti- farm 2 farm 3 farm 5 farm 6 farm 8
ficial means in the production process and are therefore preferable from a sustainability point of view.
(Figure 26).
Figure 27. The Ecological Footprint and the contribution of different elements to the total value.

142 143
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Floriculture: balancing sustainability

Unit of References
Farm 2 Farm 3 Farm 5 Farm 6 Farm 8
measurement Daly H.E., 1990. Toward some operational principles of sustainable development. Ecological Economics
2, 1-6.
Daly H.E., 1994.Operationalizing sustainable development by investing in natural capital in: Jansson A.,
gha/ha*yr 29,19 13,28 19,19 20,26 5,91 Hammer M., Folke C., Costanza R. (Eds.), Investing in NaturalCapital, Island Press, Washington (1994),
area pp. 2237
Ekins P., Simon S., Deutsch L., Folke C., De Groot R., 2003. A framework for the practical application of
the concepts of critical natural capital and strong sustainability. Ecological Economics 44, 165-185
Farm Ecological Faber M., Manstetten R., Proops J., 1995. On the conceptual foundations of ecological economics: a
Footprint/bioca- gha/ha*yr 7,15 3,25 4,70 4,96 1,45 teleological approach. Ecological Economics 12, 4154
Faucheux S., OConnor M., (Eds.), 1998. Valuation for Sustainable Development: Methods and Policy
Indicators. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.
Table 13. Ratio between the ecological footprint and the land area and biocapacity of the floriculture farms analyzed. Galli A., Kitzes J., Wermer P., Wackernagel M., Niccolucci V., Tiezzi E., 2007. An exploration of the ma-
thematics behind the ecological footprint. International Journal of Ecodynamics, 2 (4): 250257.
Jansson A.M., Hammer M., Folke C., Costanza R., 1994. Investing in Natural Capital: the Ecological
Economics Approach to Sustainability. Island Press, Washington DC
On the basis of these evaluations, we can therefore conclude that the processes and cultivation of Lutz E. (Ed.), 1993. In: Toward Improved Accounting for the Environment. World Bank, Washington DC.
flower growing are carried out in conditions with little sustainability; that it is necessary to increase the
Monfreda C., Wackernagel M., Deumling D., 2004. Establishing national natural capital accounts based
degree of use of natural resources and look for crops which require a smaller quantity of resources to
on detailed Ecological Footprint and biological capacity assessments. Land Use Policy, 21(3): 231246.
finish the production process and less use of artificial support (construction of greenhouses or other
structures) on the land where the crop is cultivated. Odum, H.T., 1996. Environmental Accounting: Emergy and Environmental Decision Making. Wiley &
It is also necessary to introduce policies aimed at improving the situation at a local level which favour Sons, New York, USA.
turning away from cultivation based fundamentally on the use of greenhouses to one which uses open Osborn D., Bigg T., 1998. Earth summit II, outcomes and analysis. Earthscan, London.
fields. WCED (World Commission on Environment and Development), 1987. Our common future. http://www.
Relevant institutions should also commit to a programme of training and information for flower growers un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm
which is aimed at increasing the use of renewable resources or, even better, at saving and re-using
Vitousek P., Mooney H., Lubchenco J., Melillo J., 1997. Human domination of earths ecosystems.
Science 277, 494-499.
Whenever a floriculture farm uses structures like greenhouses, tunnels and shading, these should be
converted and modified in a way that means they are not only used for cultivation but also to generate
electric and/or thermal energy by installing solar panels or solar thermal plants, as seen in previous
chapters. The energy produced in this way could be used by the floriculture farm itself for air conditioning
plants in the various structures, irrigation plants and for general management. It should also be remem-
bered that the choice of species to cultivate should preferably be one which has bioclimatic needs
coherent with local conditions. In these ways we can reduce the need to import external inputs in favour
of the production and consumption of renewable energy.

144 145

Alessandro Lanteri
In the nurseries sector too, quality standards have been developed which give one or more certificates.
Quality certification is shown by a symbol (label, ticket or citation) which demonstrates that a farm, a
product, a process or a service has been certified. There are many different types of certification:
quality: for example the ISO 9001 certification, which has world-wide recognition, is awarded for
management systems of the organization of all production sectors and all sizes;
voluntary product certification (not law-enforced) which normally is associated with a quality
symbol, for example, certification of a controlled chain;
typical product: for example D.O.P. or other citations meaning the original source;
services: for example regulation UNI 10670 1997 for the hotel business, defines the minimum
service requirements to be met;
environment: for example ISO14001 is an international norm which can be voluntarily applied for
by any type of public or private organization which satisfies the requirements for a system of envi-
ronmental management.
Certification can be given by bodies which are very different from each other. DOP and IGP certification
come from the E.U. itself. UNI and ISO certificates are granted by organizations which are recognized
and accredited at a national level by SINCERT (the national system for accreditation, certification and
inspection, which is state-recognized in Italy).
It is worth noting that in the European norms for this agricultural sector in particular (nurseries) there are
no quality symbols for geographical areas (like DOC and IGF) which at times discipline production, and
that currently this sector does not come under the Ecolabel. Various symbols have therefore come into
being, which are all very different from each other and may have very different characteristics. Certifica-
tes of different types are held by many different bodies in Italy as they are regarded as being an indica-
tion of good quality for the sector. In 1999 for example, guidelines were drawn up for nurseries for ISO
9001 certification from proposals by the AFERO the association for nurseries in Emilia Romagna. The

146 147
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Blending quality and sustainability: certifications

Ce.spe.Vi VIS project in Tuscany in 2009 highlights the growing importance of environmental certifica- the characteristics the product should have: length of stem, flower calibre, robustness. Each grower can
tion, for example, awarding certification for processes and products which are also an integral part of the be identified by a code number.
national MIPAAF Programme for the Floriculture farm (Nursery) sector.

Fair Flower is the symbol of an association of the same name which wants to 6.1.2 SANREMO ITALIAN STYLE AND THE BOUQUET SANREMO PROJECT
develop social and environmental certification in Italy to guarantee flower production The Sanremo Italian style association was set up by UCFLOR and professional florists and flower ar-
conditions to buyers. It started at a regional level, but the association wants to be- ranging experts to publicize and control the quality of Sanremo floral products and to highlight and gain
come national and involve other production and marketing chains while also raising appreciation for the artistic skills and qualities of the professional florist founders, in keeping with the
awareness of this problem among consumers. great Italian tradition for art, taste and beauty.
Bouquet Sanremo is a project strongly supported by the Sanremo local council and UCFLOR. It started
up in January 2005 and has become a highly appreciated and important feature for Italian flower shops.
There are in fact more than 1,500 sales points which have joined the project and which have therefore
HORTISUD is a voluntary quality symbol managed by the Hyres-Hortipol based been able to use, completely without charge, the advertising available through the numerous events
on the application of rules for every type of flower taken from the standards used by organized.
the Hyres Flower Market but improved with specific quality requisites by scientific
and marketing partners of the association.
Sanremo Ucflor has the Global GAP certification. The Global GAP proto-
col defines good agricultural practice related to the essential elements for
The proliferation of different types of certification has also given birth to the umbrella label or single developing best practice in agricultural businesses, cultivation, crops and
symbols which aim to be an amalgamation of different symbols. In the cut flower sector there is Fair stock breeding.
Flowers Fair Plants which forms groups. The protocol was created by Eurep (the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group), which is formed by
some of the most important European selling chains. The aim is to satisfy the growing needs for food
control and respect for the environment. It is a global protocol, aimed at all types of agriculture.

6.1 Current experience in Western Liguria 6.1.4 DALBENGA

There is a collective symbol for the Ingauna Plain. It is used mainly for flowering and aromatic pot plants.
The Sanremo Flowers symbol certifies to the quality of floriculture on the Ligurian Riviera. Flowers from There are no particularly stringent standards except for the origin of the product.
Sanremo are identified by a single logo which accompanies them from the moment of production to sale
in a shop, to identify their unique, high level of quality. The symbol was launched to identify flowers and
foliage representative of the best of Ponente: anemones, broom, buttercups, sunflowers, roses, lilies, 6.1.5 FAIR FLOWER
bird of paradise, chrysanthemums, poppies, marigolds, carnations, mimosa, pittosporum, myrtle and The Fair Flower association was set up in Sanremo on 6 November 2007. The
ginseng. The symbol is also a control on the quality of the point of origin because growers who use it objective of the organization is to promote a more sustainable flower chain with
are committed to following the rules about the characteristics the product should have: length of stem, respect to social and environmental rights in support of the criteria in the Inter-
flower calibre, robustness. Each grower can be identified by a code number. national Code of Conduct. La Bottega Solidale Flowers and Rights non-profit
organization was responsible for setting up the initiative along with other founder
members: the Flower and Nursery District (western Liguria), which represents
6.1.1 SANREMO FLOWERS (2006) private and institutional interests in the sector, local trade union representatives of
The Sanremo Flowers symbol certifies the quality of floriculture on the Li- CGIL, CIsL, UIL and Ucflor and the manager of the Sanremo Flower Market.
gurian Riviera. Flowers from Sanremo are identified by a single logo which After more than one year of preparation, Fair Flower obtained official recognition from the FFFP (Fair
accompanies them from the moment of production to sale in a shop, to Flowers, Fair Plants), the most important international programme for social and ethical certification
identify their unique, high level of quality. The symbol was launched to iden- for flowers and plants. The FFP is a programme developed by the main commercial organisations
tify flowers and foliage representative of the best of Ponente: anemones, in the sector in collaboration with associations of producers in the most important countries and a
broom, buttercups, sunflowers, roses, lilies, bird of paradise, chrysanthemums, poppies, marigolds, non-governmental organization network throughout the world. It promotes sustainable production
carnations, mimosa, pittosporum, myrtle and ginseng. The symbol is also a control on the quality of the of flowers and plants, lowering the environmental impact of cultivation and establishing better social
point of origin because growers who use it are committed to following the rules about the characteristics conditions for workers.

148 149
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - GUIDELINES Migliorare le proprie competenze: la formazione

The first step, therefore, was to create rules for production which could be adapted to suit the Italian
situation but which at the same time could be recognized at an international level through comparison
with the standards existing in other countries.
After the initial certification of 16 producers and 4 marketing companies, today the initiative is at a stan-
dstill because of various selling difficulties and the umbrella FFP symbol. The intention is to start again
with the help of important partnerships and recognition set up by INAIL and the Liguria Regional council.
Other international symbols:
Veriflora: a symbol for chains of producers, wholesalers and retailers in the United States. The cer-
tified standards cover environmental sustainability, social-ethical aspects and the quality of products
and services.
Max Havelaar: Swiss ethical-environmental certification for fair-trade products.
Kenya Flower Council: ethical-environmental certification for Kenyan products.
Flower Label Program: ethical-environmental certification for products from southern hemisphe-
re countries managed by human rights associations and mainly for the German market.
Milieu Programma Sierteelt: a symbol representing different MPs standards: A, B, C: environ-

mental (different levels); GAP: product quality; Quality: process quality; socially Qualified: ethical-so-
cial; Florimark: all the previous put together. This is certification which applies to different companies
in the Albenga plain. IMPROVING SKILLS:
FairTrade: various symbols certify to the ethical-environmental quality of fair-trade products.
Rainforest Alliance: ethical-environmental certification for agricultural products in general. TRAINING
Florverde: ethical-environmental certification for Colombian products. Patrizia Martini, Marco Odasso, Stefano Rapetti, Laura Repetto

Other aspects and limits of certification

There has been some difficulty implementing certification for nurseries in the Ponente area in Liguria. 7.1 Courses
Indeed, similar difficulties for the same reasons have been found in practically all floriculture production
in southern Europe. Training sessions organized by the IRF for the SUMFLOWER project.
The costs are too high for the physical size of the farms. The vast majority of the farms are family- 16 May 2012. Flower Market at Bussana di sanremo. Controlling problems with the land at a pre-
based and cannot afford the costs of certification. This is a far lesser problem for the average Nor- planting stage for sustainable floriculture. G. Minuto CERSAA Albenga; P. Martini IRF Sanremo
thern European farm and ones de-localized in tropical areas. (speeches available on the GBH-UNIGE website).
Little marketing benefit: Produce from Ponente in Liguria is destined for different markets where 26 september 2012. Flower Market at Bussana di Sanremo: virus disease in buttercups and dai-
standards of certification are often not recognized. sies: diagnosis and epidemiology. L. Mela, E. Derin IRF sanremo (speeches available on the
Unfair competition among the standards of different countries. Respecting environmental regula- GBH-UNIGE website).
tions or work safety norms within the European Union is very different from respecting legislation for 28 November 2012. Flower Market at Bussana di Sanremo: pesticides in Floriculture: the situation
the same sectors in many equatorial African countries. in Italy and recent developments in pesticides: from the laboratory to the field, and the situation
Lack of critical mass: it is not always possible to obtain sufficient quantities of certified goods to in Italy. P. Guarino freelance consultant for the industry; M. Merini SFR Liguria; P. Martini IRF
guarantee the potential supply to interested clients. Sanremo.
Lengthy period needed to get off the soil: in view of the current crisis and rising costs, many farms 15 May 2013. Flower Market at Bussana di Sanremo. Main animal parasites in ornamental crops and
have no intention of proceeding with experimental certification in view of the lack of information experiences integrated pest management. M. Belgiovine IRF Sanremo; G. Mancini Flowers of
about marketing results. Arma di Taggia Riviera Co-operative; G. Bozzano and A. M. Crotti, Albenga Horticulture Co-operative.

Course for licences for buying and using pesticides

Phytosanitary Regional Services is the body, in conformity with the International Convention, for plant
pest management and, in accordance with the European Union directive, responsible for phytosani-
tary control in the territory with the aim of avoiding the spread of diseases and parasites damaging to
vegetation or vegetal products. One of its duties is to organize and hold courses for achieving autho-
rization to buy and use pesticides.

150 151

For further information: www.agriligurianet.it and then click on Home/regional activities/tools and ser-
vice centres/ regional phytosanitary service.
7.3 Useful links
7.2Categories and bodies which organize training LIFE+ SUMFLOWER project - partners

courses Co-ordinator: GBH-UniGe Athenaeum service centre www.giardinihanbury.com

Hanbury Botanic Gardens, University of Genoa www.regflor.it
7.2.1 CATEGORY ASSOCIATIONS IRF CeRSAA Regional Centre for Agricultural
Coldiretti: www.coldiretti.it assistance and experiments
Coldiretti Imperia: www.imperia.coldiretti.it CRA-FSO Floriculture and Ornamental species
Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori: www.cia.it research unit of the Council for Agriculture Research www.istflori.it
Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori della Liguria: www.cialiguria.it and Experimentation
Confagricoltura: www.confagricoltura.it Ponente, Liguria Nursery Agriculture section www.distrettofloricololiguria.it
Confagricoltura Liguria: www.confagricolturaliguria.net Impresa Verde, Green Business Liguria srl www.imperia.coldiretti.it
Federazione Agricola Alimentare Ambientale Industriale: www.fai.cisl.it Liguria Region
Federazione Agricola Alimentare Ambientale Industriale della Liguria: www.failiguria.cisl.it Liguria region agriculture portal www.agriligurianet.it
www.agriligurianet.it and click on Home / attivit regionali
FLORNEWS-RIVIERA DEI FIORI: bulletin published from
/ strumenti e centri servizi / centro servizi floricoltura /
7.2.2 PROFESSIONAL BODIES 2007 to now
bollettino di floricoltura.
Consiglio dellOrdine Nazionale dei Dottori Agronomi e dei Dottori Forestali: www.conaf.it Product club: technical-cultural advice on floral and www.agriligurianet.it and click on: Home / settori produt-
Ordine dei Dottori Agronomi e dei Dottori Forestali della Provincia di Imperia: www.ordineimperia. ornamental crops tivi / floricoltura / club di prodotto.
conaf.it www.agriligurianet.it and click on: Home / settori produt-
Technical chart for flower and ferns pest management
Collegio Nazionale degli Agrotecnici e degli Agrotecnici Laureati: www.agrotecnici.it tivi / floricoltura / schede tecniche.
Collegio di Imperia degli Agrotecnici e degli Agrotecnici Laureati: www.agrotecnici-imperia.com Services and workshops in the Liguria Region:
CAAR Regional Applied Agrometeorology Centre
Collegio Nazionale dei Periti Agrari e dei Periti Agrari Laureati: www.peritiagrari.it
CERSAA Regional Centre for Agricultural Assistance
and Experimentation
CSF Floriculture services Centre www.agriligurianet.it seguendo il percorso: Home /
7.2.3 OTHER STRUCTURES IRF Regional Institute for Floriculture attivit regionali / strumenti e centri servizi.
Assessorato allAgricoltura della Regione Liguria: www.regione.liguria.it Laboratorio Analisi dei Terreni
Istituto Regionale per la Floricoltura: www.regflor.it LARAF Regional Laboratory for Phytopathology
Unit di Ricerca per la Floricoltura e le specie Ornamentali del Consiglio per la Ricerca e la speri-
SFR Regional Phytosanitary service.
mentazione in Agricoltura: www.istflori.it www.agriligurianet.it, and click on: Home / settori pro-
Centro Regionale di Sperimentazione ed Assistenza Agricola della Camera di Commercio di Savo- Disciplinari di produzione integrata della Regione Liguria
duttivi / floricoltura / disciplinari agroambientali
na: www.cersaa.it Regional code for integrated production www.disciplinari.imagelinenetwork.com
Florcoop sanremo: www.florcoop.it Liguria Region health site www.liguriainformasalute.it
Camere di Commercio, Industria, Artigianato ed Agricoltura: www.camcom.it Liguria Region site for the environment www.ambienteliguria.it
Agroinnova - Centro di Competenza per lInnovazione nel settore agro-ambientale e agro-alimenta-
ARFAL Regional Agency for the Environment in Liguria www.arpal.org
re: www.agroinnova.org
ASL link on phytopharmacy www.fitofarmaci.asl1.liguria.it
Fondazione Minoprio: www.fondazioneminoprio.it
Ministries, institutes and other national structures
Scuola Agraria del Parco di Monza: www.monzaflora.it
Ministry of Agricultural Policy www.politicheagricole.it
CSRP - Centro studi e Ricerche per le Palme: www.sanremopalme.org
NB: Information about training courses and seminars can be found in the FlorNews-Riviera Ligure Ministry for the Environment www.minambiente.it
bulletin which has information about floriculture in the Liguria Region. It is sent every two weeks by Ministry of Health www.ministerosalute.it
email or fax to those operating in the Liguria flower chain and to anyone else who asks for it. To re- CRA Council for Agricultural Experimentation and
Research, with link to affiliated structures and institutes
quest a copy, go to the CSF Regional Floriculture Services Centre, csf@regione.liguria.it; skype:
CNR National Research Council www.cnr.it
csf_regioneliguria. Back numbers are available on www.agriligurianet.it, by clicking on Home/regional
activities/tools and service centres/floriculture service centre/agricultural bulletin.

152 153

ANF National Floriculture Inspectorate Association. Entomology (Insecticides) Meteorology (Weedkillers)

Link to Documents for Italian, European etc. legislation. Entomological Society of America www.entsoc.org
AISSA- Italian Association of Scientific Agrarian Socie-
www.aissa.it IRAC - Insecticide Resistance Action Committee www.irac-online.org
ties, with link to relevant sites
INAIL National Institute for Insurance and Work Acci- wwwww.inail.it, and click on Home / Salastampa / Per i EWRS - European Weed Research Society www.ewrs.org
dents: various articles about agriculture Giornalisti / Rassegna Stampam / Indice Cronologico GIRE - Gruppo Italiano Resistenza Erbici www.gire.mlib.cnr.it
Pesticides and safety HRAC - Herbicide Resistance Action Committee www.hracglobal.com
AGROFARMA National Association of Pharmaceuti- SIRFI Italian Society for flora infestation research www.sirfi.it
cal companies. Web sites of associated companies, agrofarma.federchimica.it
Plant pathology - fungicides
product safety charts, market information etc.
CRA-PAV Research Centre for Vegetal Pathology with FRAC - Fungicide Resistance Action Committee www.frac.info
links to phytopharmacy databank, regulations for pestici- www.cra-pav.it ISPP - International Society for Plant Pathology www.isppweb.org
des for use in biological agriculture etc. CRA-PAV Vegetal pathology Research Centre www.crapav.it
GRIFA Italian Research Group for Phytopharmacy and
www.grifa.org AIPP Italian Association for Plant Protection www.aipp.it
the Environment
WinBDF- Banca Dati Fitofarmaci che raccoglie docu- SIPAV Italian Society of Vegetal Pathology www.sipav.org
www.winbdf.it SCI Italian Horticultural Society www.soihs.it
mentazione relativa agli agrofarmaci autorizzati in Italia
FITOGEST Research engine for pesticides, with links Agrinova Office for Innovations in the agro-environ-
to relevant Italian and Foreign sites, Regional Phytosani- www.fitogest.imagelinenetwork.com mental and agro-food sector
tary Services etc. Proceedings of the Phytopathology Days www.giornatefitopatologiche.imagelinenetwork.com
FITOREV Research engine for European revision www.fitorev.imagelinenetwork.com Biological Agriculture
SIAN National Agriculture Information System with AIAB Italian Association for Biological Agriculture www.aiab.it
links to Services and Consultation for chemicals www.sian.it; www.sian.it/fitovis
BIOLGEST technical tools for biological agriculture www.biolgest.imagelinenetwork.com
databank declarations of sales of pesticides
Banca Dati Fitofarmaci del Sistema Informativo Agricolo FEDERBIO Italian Federation of Biological and biody-
www.sian.it/fitovis www.federbio.it
Nazionale namic agriculture
International Sites GREENPLANET Biological network on internet www.greenplanet.net
IFOAM - International Federation on Organic Agriculture
Official European Union site europa.eu/index_it.htm www.ifoam.org
Europe Pesticide Database ec.europa.eu/sanco_pesticides/public/index.cfm SINAB National Information Systems for Biological
European Commission with links to pesticides and up- ec.europa.eu/food/plant/protection/pesticides/index_ On-line News
dating on revision en.htm www.agriligurianet.it seguendo il percorso Home /
EPPO European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Flornews-Riviera de fiori: two-weekly journal dedicated
attivit regionali / strumenti e centri servizi / centro servizi
organization with links to Publications for: EPPO Stan- www.eppo.org to the floriculture sector
floricoltura / bollettino di floricoltura.
dards (guidelines for phytosanitary evaluation etc.) Agronotizie: on-line weekly dedicated to news about
EPPO European and Mediterranean Plant Protection www.agronotizie.imagelinenetwork.com
agriculture and husbandry
organization with links to Publications for: with link Fertirrigazione.it: provides information about fertilizer
www.eppo.int www.fertirrigazione.it
to Bookshop for the Pesticide Manual and other irrigation and related arguments
Official Gazette of the Italian Republic www.gazzettaufficiale.it/index.jsp
BCPC - British Crop Protection Council, con link a: "Bo-
www.bcpc.org Informatore Agrario: weekly on agricultural techniques www.informatoreagrario.it
okshop" per il "Pesticide Manual" e altre pubblicazioni
ECPA European Crop Protection Association asso- Il Floricultore: monthly for nurseries www.ilfloricultore.it
ciation of pesticides companies Clamer informa: monthly for cultivation techniques www.clamerinforma.it
AESA European authority for food safety ec.europa.eu/food/efsa_it.htm
WTO - World Trade Organization www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/sps_e/sps_e.htm
IOBC-WPRS - International Organization for Biological
and Integrated Control, con links a "Working Groups", a www.iobc-wprs.org
"Publications" (IOBC/WPRS Bulletins),ecc.
INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique www.inra.fr
USDA - United States Department of Agriculture www.usda.gov

154 155
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - Handbook and Guidelines

Mauro Giorgio Mariotti1
Enrica Roccotiello1

Caterina Allera3
Simone Bastianoni7, 8
Carla Dalla Guda3
Enrico Farina3
Lara Ficarra5
Gianni Gentile5
Enrico Ilariuzzi5
Alessandro Lanteri4
Mauro Giorgio Mariotti1
Patrizia Martini6
Giovanni Minuto2
Fabiana Morandi7, 8
Elena Neri7, 8
Valentina Niccolucci7, 8
Marco Odasso6
Chiara Paoli1
Nicoletta Patrizi7, 8
Federico M. Pulselli7, 8
Stefano Rapetti6
Laura Repetto6
Enrica Roccotiello1
Federico Tinivella2
Paolo Vassallo1

Giulia Ferrero

Patrizia Martini6

Caterina Allera3
Carla Dalla Guda3
Enrico Farina3
Patrizia Martini6
Giovanni Minuto2
Endrio Derin6
Federico Tinivella2 Del Gallo editori s.r.l. Green Printing
Paolo Vassallo1 We would like to thank the floriculture farms involved in the LIFE + SUMFLOWER project :
BOERI Lorenzo, CANNIZZARO Domenico, DADDAZIO Emanuela, DADDAZIO Roberta, ENRICO Giorgio, NOBBIO Loren-
zo, PIAGENTINI Fabio, ROBA Alessio, SCORDO Carmelo and all the technicians involved in the project.
CENTRO SERVIZI DI ATENEO GIARDINI BOTANICI HANBURY, Universit degli Studi di Genova Handbook and Guidelines drawn up under the LIFE+ 09ENV/IT/000067 SUMFLOWER project with financial contribution
Ornamentali (C.R.A.-F.S.O.) LIFE: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/about/index.htm
C.R.E.A. - Centro di Ricerca Energia e Ambiente Soc. Cons. a r.l. - Viale Matteotti n. 15 53034 Colle di Val dElsa (Siena) Any copying is prohibited without the written authorization of the authors.
ECODYNAMICS GROUP, Dipartimento Di Scienze Fisiche, Della Terra e Dellambiente, Universit di Siena

156 157
SUSTAINABLE FLORICULTURE - Handbook and Guidelines
O Handbook and Guidelines


c.so Inglesi 508, Sanremo tel. 0184 694826
e-mail andrea.allavena@entecra.it




Reg. Rollo 98, Albenga tel. 0182 554949

e-mail info@cersaa.it

Impresa Verde
Impresa Verde
Via Acquarone 8, Imperia tel. 0183 666993
e-mail impresaverde.im@coldiretti.it




Istituto Regionale per la Floricoltura

via Carducci 12, Sanremo tel. 0184 535149/50
e-mail irf@regflor.it


del Ponente SHOWCASES,
Distretto Agricolo Florovivaistico del Ponente
via Q. Mansuino 15, Sanremo tel. 0184 1928484
e-mail distrettosanremo@hotmail.it



LIFE+ 09 ENV/IT/067

Territorial integration, Production chain, Mauro G. Mariotti, Enrica Roccotiello

Waste Management, Website, Final
Area Protetta
Conference, Brochures, Leaflets, After LIFE

Uni.GE - Giardini Botanici Hanbury



c.so Montecarlo 43, Ventimiglia

tel. 0184 22661 e-mail m.mariotti@unige.it LIFE+ 09 ENV/IT/067