Ecofarm Storti is a company out of Verona dealing with the manufacturing and commercialization of technological solutions with a low environmental impact to improve the efficiency of agricultural practices. Ecofarm's innovative approach has been increasingly welcome also thanks to its ozone sanitization solutions.
Ecofarm biotechnologist and scientific manager explains that "ozone is a reactive form of oxygen that is highly active and with virucidal, bactericide and fungicide properties. In nature, it is generated by electrical discharges during storms, while machines produce it inside specific cells in an enclosed environment. Over the past few years, we have developed an application protocol for nurseries which is leading to positive results."
Massimo Marconi (in the photo above) is a nursery gardener in Roverbella (Mantua, IT) with three hectares of high-tech glass greenhouses specialized in the production of lettuce, chicory, lamb's lettuce, brassicas, bell peppers, tomatoes, fruit plants, basil, arugula and other varieties.
He explains that "thanks to Ecofarm's solutions, we have installed a greenhouse water ozone irrigation treatment system. I was looking for an alternative to hydrogen peroxide to deal with common nursery problems and for an innovation to meet the request for fewer pesticides.
Plants in a seedbed
"It only took a couple of months for the effects to show: despite the fewer treatments, there have been no pathogens and seeds have been more uniform. Plants are firmer, compact, with a livelier green color, no etiolation and a root system that is 20-30% more developed, with more root hairs."
"We hadn't told anything to our clients, as the objective had already been widely reached with the reduction in chemicals of over 50%."
"After the first production cycles, however, clients did notice a faster recovery after transplants, shorter production cycles and other positive differences. When it comes to lettuce and other leaf vegetables, they reported higher resistance to wilting and post-transplant crises."
Leaves also seem thicker and with a higher dry matter content.
"Now it is our clients who ask for 'those plants', knowing that their crops will be successful with them."
"These positive effects are fruit of the study and use we make of ozone through irrigation systems. In fact, many other producers together with research institutes are reporting these effects more and more."
The cost? "Considering an amortization of only five years and the management and maintenance cost, the installation of an ozone generator for the treatment of irrigation water only costs 0,40 euros per square meter per year. The cost is abundantly repaid by the fewer pesticides used and the increased plant sturdiness. Without forgetting that these innovative systems can benefit from public funding such as Regional Development Funds and Agriculture 4.0 funds."