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Our “green” investments

My farm has been operating now for over 800 harvests -says the owner, Guecello Count di Porcia e Brugnera- and therefore long before the current media barrage about the predictions of  oil crash catastrophes and the need to reduce harmful emissions from the extraction and combustion of gas and mineral fossils; we ourselves have long ago adopted practices that are today regularly referred to as “traditional agriculture,” precisely the system that, looking back, is now being re-evaluated, paradoxically enough, and being advanced as the most efficient and sustainable long-term. This centuries-long approach, which respected a Nature that gives and receives, and was applied above all to sustain and give work to the local farming families, was based on the only method possible, that of crop rotation. Which means that the relationship between sustainability, respect for nature, and agriculture is certainly no new theme”.

My own farming enterprise has been investing in three important projects. -He adds-.

At Fattoria Azzano Decimo, roof structures of the cattle raising facilities, winery, and equipment storage are being converted to house a total of 2,500 square metres of solar panels; this installation will produce  electrical energy equal to our production needs there.

Porcìa, near the family’s Castello, is home to a hydroelectric plant that provides all of the electrical needs of the historic Cantina and its Wine shop, open to the public. Improvements to the turbine there are now being studied, with the objective of better adjusting to the varying flows and seasonal highs of the Buion river that feeds the plant and to increasing production from the present annual 180,000 to 300,000.

Fattoria at Azzano Decimo is again the location – since 2011 – of a plant for the production of bio-gas generated from the fermentation of cereals, with the energy going to feed an endothermic motor with a maximum output of 1 megawatt. The plant will be able to provide the network with 8,400 kw per year, equal to the consumption of 2,850 persons.  Plant input will be exclusively cereals such as corn and triticale, grown on the estate (from some 600 hectares of fields), quite enough to supply this kind of plant and animal manure of the dairy cows breeding. The increase in production will of course be always in accord with the principles of crop rotation.

At Palse, near Porcia, is again the location of biogas power plant completed in May 2015, for the production of bio-gas generated from the fermentation of cereals, with the energy going to feed an endothermic motor with a maximum output of 300 kilowatt. The plant provides the network with 2,200 kw per year. Plant input is exclusively cereals such as corn and triticale, grown on the estate, and manure from a pig farm closed to the plant.

Equally significant is the re-use of the processed materials (plant by-product): the liquid part will be sent into the farm’s irrigation canals, through a separator, thus reducing the amount of water taken from rivers.  The solid matter will be re-used as fertiliser, since its nitrogen will still remain after the production of methane gas, thus reducing the need for chemically-produced fertilisers.  Use of this organic material will also reduce the energy needed for ploughing  and thus improve soil texture. (The farm does in any case already rely on cow manure as a fertilizer).