Biochar experimentation: the first results are now at international level.

Last June Open Fields attended two international meetings: the 11th World Processing Tomato Congress (Sirmione, Italy) and the 20th World Congress of Soil Science (Jeju, South Korea). In these two meetings Open Fields presented some results of biochar field experiments on processing tomatoes, done last year at the Az. Sperimentale Stuard (Parma, Italy) in collaboration with Ibimet Cnr.
The application of biochar is well known as a suitable option to enhance soil fertility and crop productivity, also at Italian latitudes. Our field experimental results have shown how biochar, when applied as soil amendment, could promote crop yield of processing tomato (cv. Pietrarossa) and enhance soil nutrient retention to avoid soil depletion due to intensive agriculture. These results have been recently included in two scientific publications submitted to prestigious international journals in the field of agronomy and crop science.

Read the two posters: ISHS_tomato_poster and WCSS_poster

Biochar: new perspectives, not only agriculture

Open Fields attended the II Mediterranean Biochar Symposium “Environmental Impact of Biochar and its Role in green remediation”, which took place on 16th and 17th of January 2014 in Palermo (Italy). The research carried pout in the last year, thanks to the collaboration of Open Fields, Ibimet CNR of Florence (Italy) and Agt (Advanced Gasification Technology), was presented by Dr. Pusceddu and Maienza  (Ibimet CNR Florence). The research was appreciated by the participants for its scientific significance and originality.

Dr. Pusceddu showed the results obtained by applying sophisticated techniques for the chemical and morphological characterization of biochar in the long term and a laboratory study on particulate emissions from biochar from different feedstocks and production processes.

Dr. Maienza investigated  the effect of biochar on the production of a horticultural crop considering nitrogen content (in the form of ammonia and nitrate). This experiment was carried out on Processing tomato at the Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard, San Pancrazio (PR) during the last summer season. For the first time, the effect of biochar on soil properties and on Tomato crop was analyzed in a field experiment. In this experiment particular attention was given to the interactions between biochar stability and soil organisms.
Click here to read the report of the event, Italian text.

Open Fields on waste reduction in the value chain of processing tomatoes and on innovative applications of soft wheat

In October 2012 Open Fields participated in two important events: the first organized in Parma by Kuminda, having as a subject “food companies, efficiency, waste reduction and recycling of processing by-products”, and the second, organized by the Museo Lombardo di Storia dell’Agricoltura entitled “Wheat, the most relevant source of food for human beings”.
Both appointments saw a good participation of the value chain operators and of the scientific community.
In the presentation at the workshop of Kuminda, Open Fields tried to summarize all the industrial and research initiatives in the North Italian District of tomato, aiming at reducing tomato and water waists during cultivation and aiming at increasing the value of processing by-products. The presentation is available here .
In the report presented at the conference on wheat, Open Fields gave an overview on the most innovative applications of soft wheat, on new transformation processes, nutritional and functional targets and on techniques to reduce immunogenicity of gluten. The presentation entitled “Emerging needs of soft wheat processors”, can be downloaded here.

Food waste and right to food

Monday the 15th of October Open Fields will participate in the event promoted by Kumida and organized by Prof. Alessandro Arrighetti, ” Food waste and right to food – Experiences of solidarity and strategies to improve the efficiency of the food chain in Europe, Italy and Emilia Romagna”. Open Fields will give a speech entitled “Waste reduction in the production chain of processing tomato: some successful examples “.
Visit the website of the Kuminda association.

The harvesting campaign of processing tomatoes is almost completed


This week the harvesting campaign of processing tomatoes will be completed in Northern Italy. It is estimated that in this area 2.200.000 t of tomatoes will be processed while more than 2.400.000 t were processed in 2011. Throughout Italy it is forecasted that 4.200.000 t of processing tomatoes will be processed in 2012 against 5.080.000 in 2011. This contraction in quantities of semi-processed seems a general trend which includes all Europe, California and China, for which a 50% reduction is expected. This are good news for the first processing tomato industry which, after “years of suffering” will be able to sell their products at a higher price.