Nov 14, 2022
Ag tech on display at European machinery show

The European Union’s goal to reduce pesticide use by 50% by 2030 has ramped up the technology race for specialty crop growers in the EU.  

That new technology was on display at the 45th edition of EIMA International, the world exhibition of agricultural machinery,  Nov. 9-13 in Bologna, Italy.

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Technology trends highlighted on the trade show floor included: using UV light for disease control; drones that can apply beneficial insects; autonomous sprayers and mowers; using ozonated water for disease control; mechanical weeders that can distinguish between the weeds and the crop; recirculating vineyard sprayers and “smart” planters.

There were more than 100,000 attendees from 160 countries, along with 1,500 manufacturers, of which 480 were foreign, representing 40 countries, exhibiting at the show.

Italian farmers are behind the rest of Europe in adopting the new technology.

“We are in our infancy, a real market demand has not yet arisen,” said Alessio Bolognesi, Italian Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Federation’s digital technology expert. “We are seeing many projects for small and large robots springing up in our country too. And there is a lot of curiosity on the part of farmers. The hurdle we have to overcome is that of the safety of the machine when it interacts with man.”

Francesco Lollobrigida, Italy’s Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, attended the event and at a press conference said that he does not favor the model of using genetically modified organism, favoring the use of mechanical technologies and innovative systems that make it possible to improve land use and optimize production. 

— Matt McCallum

Top photo: This sprayer applies ozonated water to help with disease control. PHOTOS: Matt McCallum

Bottom photo: This autonomous vehicle is used to apply UV light to fruit crops to help control disease.

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