Environmental and economic benefits of the pre-harvest fruit bagging technique: trade-off evaluation in a Mediterranean area
The paper aims to estimate the benefits of an innovative integrated pest management technique. More specifically, a methodology that allows an assessment of environmental performance not only in physical terms, but also in terms of trade-off between environmental benefits and crop profitability is proposed. The case study compares peach crops grown under integrated and conventional techniques in a Mediterranean area in the South of Italy. More specifically, the integrated method analysed consists in bagging the fruits in the pre-harvest phase. Bagging is a physical protection method that improves the visual quality of fruit, changes the micro-environment for fruit development and reduces the incidence of disease, pest and/or mechanical damage. We briefly describe the method of collection of data which are necessary for assessing crop economic performance and for the calculation of CO2 emissions related to agricultural cultivation and production phases taking into account different cultural practices, production yields and product prices in the different regimes of cultivation adopted. The results provide a basis for the farmers' decisions about orchard management, which can also have a significant impact at a territorial level.
Blasi, E., Pancino, B., Passeri, N. and Franco, S. (2017). Environmental and economic benefits of the pre-harvest fruit bagging technique: trade-off evaluation in a Mediterranean area. Acta Hortic. 1160, 313-318
IPM techniques, decision support, agricultural CO2 emissions