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Agriculture integrated: what it is, how it works and what are the advantages and disadvantages. All information on the integrated production.
Integrated agriculture, what it is
It is a form of sustainable agriculture, that is to say a low environmental impact agricultural production system.
This system provides for the combined use of agricultural practices (including the use of low-impact technical means) aimed at reducing the impact on the environment and / or consumer health.
L'integrated agricultureaims to find the perfect compromise between the following factors:
- health of the environment
- consumer health
- economic needs of the environment
- production needs
Just as happens with organic farming, even forintegrated productionthere is a regulatory framework and sometimes we can talk aboutcompulsory integrated agriculture.
Integrated agriculture, legislation
At the community level there are several documents that take the name of"Quality package". Among the documents is communication 733 which has been translated into the newRegulation on quality schemesissued in 2012. The package includes guidelines, good practices and guidelines for voluntary certification. Integrated agriculture can count on the EU Regulation 1151/2012. Starting from this first EU regulation, at the national level and then at the local level, each Region has issued somedisciplinary for integrated production.
At national level, the reference legislation is theDM 1347, National quality system of integrated production ". The legislation is called“National quality system of integrated production”, SQNPI and the text can be downloaded in its entirety from the website ofMinistry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies.
Compulsory integrated agriculture
There are some cases in which the practice of integrated production it becomes mandatory. For example, the Campania Region makes it known that it is necessary to adhere to the regulations forintegrated agriculture in order to adhere to Measure 10 in the context of the Rural Development Plan promoted for 2014-2020.
Cases extended to all concern themandatory integrated defense. What does it mean? To find out we must make a premise and understandhow integrated agriculture works.
Integrated agriculture, how it works
Thereintegrated production(or integrated agriculture) sees four main areas of application, such as:
- Soil Fertility / Fertilization
- Soil quality / Soil cultivation
- Weeding / Control of weeds
- Defense of crops / Integrated fight
An environmental scourge is linked to the massive use in agriculture of nitrogen-based fertilizers, chemical herbicides such as glyphosate and pesticides. It is clear that aagricultural modelbased on practices alow environmental impactcannot afford to use polluting chemical fertilizers or carcinogenic substances for humans that remain in the crop.
The tillage is carried out in order to prevent the phenomenon of erosion and hydrogeological instability.
The defense of crops, inconventional agriculture, is done by adopting pesticides and biocides of various kinds. In organic farming, biological control is practiced or the use of copper, pyrethrum and other products allowed in the regulation for organic farming. In integrated agriculture, on the other hand, we speak of integrated pest management.
In organic farming there is a list of "allowed plant protection products ". L'integrated agriculture, instead, it exploits within the rational limits ofsustainability, any possible means of defense of plants, namely:
- biological struggle
- chemical defense
- biotechnical products
- agronomic techniques
Despite a certain tolerance in the use of chemical products for plant protection, the aim of integrated agriculture is always to reduce the overall amount of chemicals released into the environment. The farmer will have toalwaysprefer biological and low-impact alternatives to chemical defense.
Compulsory integrated defense
At the end of August 2012, Legislative Decree 150 of 14 August 2012 was published in the Official Gazette. This law deals with the "implementation of Directive 2009/128 / EC"
Community Directive 128/2009 / EC regulates the sustainable use of pesticides, a very hot topic when it comes to integrated agriculture.
From a practical point of view, in order to comply with this obligation, farms must comply with the maximum volumes of use of chemical products established by the Regions. Compile treatment records which also show the flowering and harvest phases. Respect the disciplinary restrictions and have the sprayers "calibrated" at authorized test centers. Farmers will also have to access territorial bulletins and respect other good practices in order to employ, in a wayrational,plant defense products.
Integrated agriculture, advantages and disadvantages
For sure, among theadvantages, we see that integrated agriculture seeks to optimize the use of resources and technical means in order to find a good compromise between "production / company revenues" and "human and environmental health".
It overcomes the concepts of biological control and the constraints imposed on the use of plant protection products as it occurs in organic farming.
At present there are already precise guidelines and indications, however, among thedisadvantages, there are still no capillary control bodies and standardization is difficult. When it comes to integrated defense or weeding, the territoriality of intervention must always be kept in mind.
It can be useful:
- social agriculture
- sustainable agriculture