During the first week of November, we visited the EIMA held for the 47th year in the city of Bologna, Italy. According to the figures of the organizing company, FederUnacoma, 317,000 people visited the fair, including 50,000 who arrived from 150 countries. The number of exhibitors at the fair came to 1,950.
At its opening, the president of the expo stated that the agricultural industry shows surprisingly high levels of technology, by contrast with its conservative image.
Most of the irrigation companies were concentrated in two main halls – 21 and 22, and touring these pavilions we could appreciate the considerable investment of these companies in advanced technology, with the goal of making efficient use of water for irrigation, that constitutes 70% of global water consumption. Among the novel technologies exhibited were sensors, drones and satellites that are capable of realizing a 30% savings in water consumption for irrigation, thus coping with increasing populations and decreasing water sources. This problem is being dealt with in many areas worldwide, due to global warming.
Agriculture is the productive sector that consumes the most water. Furthermore, drought seasons have a disruptive effect on the progress of food production and on prices. So today’s farms utilize advanced technologies to reduce water consumption: up to 30% with integrated smart irrigation systems.
For every EIMA event held since 1986, FederUnacoma has sponsored a Competition to award prizes, enhancing the value of innovative products presented by manufacturers in the sector, that serve agriculture and gardening. These products are increasingly more avant-garde in their quality of manufacture, safety and environmental sustainability. The Competition is open to all companies exhibiting at EIMA.
These are some of the prize-winning products:
MTS Srl – AP180 Tomato Harvester
Compact, self-propelled tomato harvester. This machine carries out preliminary operations, freeing up space in the field to allow access for larger harvesting machinery. This solution offers a considerable reduction in costs compared to traditional procedures, and avoids partial crop loss due to trampling of some rows.
Amiad – Mini Sigma
Filter for open field irrigation systems made of plastic material. It can operate at low pressure, can be installed in restricted spaces, is self-cleaning and is electronically remote controlled.
PESSL INSTRUMENTS GmbH-iMETOS – Agronomic Virtual Assistant
Smart phone application activated with voice commands that provides answers to the priority of operations to be carried out in the field, based on data from weather stations and sensors in the field.
RAIN BIRD EUROPE- R VAN SERIES NOZZLES
Nozzles for domestic irrigation with a spray curve and radius that can be adjusted without tools. By lifting the top part of the nozzle it can be cleaned, increasing its working life.
In the framework of the Fair, some companies revealed new products:
Baccara – presented the ii.ri, featuring a smart, user-friendly App for both IoS and Android platforms. This smartphone operated controller is compatible with a wide range of valve sizes and port sizes, has no display, and by pressing the button on the top, allows pairing the smartphone to either IoS or Android systems.
Raphael presented the ULTRAF Pro from TALIS’ . Raphael Range delivers exact pressure and flow control, as well as the ability to provide accurate water metering, by combining a hydraulic valve with the precision of an ultrasonic water meter in one compact unit. This revolutionary design means that it is both easy to install and requires virtually no-maintenance.
Irritec presented eXXtreme Tape® offers a new and innovative idea of water management for drip irrigation. Created to extend the use of this precision system and attuned to water saving – now applied to 5% of the world’s irrigated surfaces but quickly spreading – even in areas served by “difficult” and unfiltered waters, eXXtreme Tape® has a simple but efficient technology. The patented double continuous filter that runs along the length of the pipe increases the filtering surface from between 20 to 100 times, compared to that of a standard product.
Netafim presented at the Fair the Smart System — NEtBeaT. According to Netafim, NetBeat is the only irrigation and fertigation management and control system that combines sensing & monitoring, analysis & decision support and automation & control. For this it has an ‘agri-brain’ to follow crop growth and recommend field-specific irrigation and fertigation. We spoke to Izhar Gilad, the company’s Head of Commercial & Business Development, Digital Farming, and during the Fair a signing ceremony was held for cooperation with a local growers’ organization.
Some companies sponsored events, as did the Metzer, inviting clients and suppliers to drink a toast for successful, cooperative work.