THE MECHANIZED MANAGEMENT OF ORCHARDS IN CENTRAL ITALY
The present research aims to make a detailed analysis of the cultivation of hazelnuts in the province of Viterbo in central Italy, paying special attention to both agronomic issues and the level of mechanization attained. In the province of Viterbo, the cultivation of hazelnuts is a very important agricultural and economic factor. Cultivation began in the 1950s and since then there has been a remarkable increase in the cultivated area; from 2,000 ha to the present 20,000 ha. This expansion has affected 17 of the provinces communes and the cultivation is now the only form of agricultural activity in many of these communes. Viterbo is the main province in Italy in terms of hazelnut production (30,000-40,000 t/year). This can largely be attributed to the particular characteristics (climate and soil) of the Monti Cimini area: the pH of its land is almost neutral, its soil tends to be sandy, it has a sub-Mediterranean climate with the correct combination of not too many hard winters and an annual average rainfall of over 1,000 millimetres. Something that has particularly contributed to this situation has been the fact that local construction companies have developed innovative machines for tillage and crop-related operations. Research illustrates the important implications for cultivation of current soil management techniques, the application of manure, pruning, irrigation systems, the phytosanitary defences, and the use of specialised machinery for each operation.
Monarca, D., Cecchini, M., Mordacchini Alfani, M.L. and Antonelli, D. (2005). THE MECHANIZED MANAGEMENT OF ORCHARDS IN CENTRAL ITALY. Acta Hortic. 686, 351-358
Corylus avellana, cultivation, soil management, machines