In Italy we produce an average of 11 million tonnes of corn grain, on 1.1 million hectares, concentrated in the north of which produces more than 90% of corn made in Italy (Source: Assomais). According to forecasts, in the coming years the global demands for meat and milk will grow, therefore there should also be an increase in demand for corn, which is among the major components of the livestock supply.
Italian media production
Italian media production has been 9.5 t/ha higher than the European average for nearly a decade, but it does not seem to indicate possible increases. To meet the needs, not only the Italian ones, to improve yields, Mario Vigo, President of Centro Studi Innovagri, has developed "Combi Mais Idrotechnologies", a cultivation protocol which exploits the know-how and technological innovation applied to some of the largest companies in the sectors agriculture's, in respect of economic and environmental sustainability of production.
The partners are Syngenta, one of the leading companies in the worldwide agribusiness for varietal innovation, Netafim, the world leader in development, production and sales of drip irrigation solutions and micro-irrigation, Unimer, for organic mineral fertilization, Cifo for foliar fertilization, Kuhn, for the supply of precision farming machines, Same Deutz Fahr, for the tractor supply. Non-technical partner: Banca Popolare di Lodi.
The "Combi Mais" goal is to obtain a yield of 20 tonness of corn grain/hectare. In 2014, the first year of testing, a yield of 14% higher than the test-company's average, was obtained on 10 ha, with healthier plants and higher quality grain. The implanted hybrid is 'Sy Brabus', with high production capacity. It is able to withstand high plant density. The technologies used for the distribution of fertilizers and water brought significant savings. In 2015 the project continues on an experimental area of 30 hectares with more agronomic innovative operations.
by Jessika Pini