The Sant Miquel Fair and Eurofruit host over 40 activities

Among days, presentations, conferences, drone exhibitions, professional meetings, demonstrations of local products and foodstuffs and other training and information activities

With topics such as sustainability, climate change, plant health, food sovereignty, financing, forestry resources, agricultural machinery, irrigation and precision agriculture

The Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the Eurofruit show will host more than 40 technical activities this year, including seminars, presentations, conferences, drone exhibitions in the framework of precision agriculture, professional meetings, demonstrations of local products and foodstuffs and other training and informative activities. The topics to be covered include sustainability, climate change, agricultural financing, plant health, food sovereignty, forestry resources, agricultural machinery, irrigation and precision agriculture, among others.

The conferences and presentations already confirmed will focus on very diverse content, such as composting on the farm itself; the problem of wildlife in fruit and extensive crops; the lines of financing of ENISA (Empresa Nacional de Innovación Sociedad Anónima); digitisation in high-value crops within the reach of the farmer; Climate change, biodiversity and irrigation; Food disinformation (the “fake news”); Towards a Circular Bioeconomy in Catalonia – BIT 2022 Congress; Plant health (the role of the ADVs in the new European scenario), or the dilemma between Energy sovereignty or food sovereignty.

Equally, the conferences on the Results of the Territorial Specialisation and Competitiveness Project are interesting: The Forest (the first resource of the green economy); Precision agricultural machinery; Irriga Control: intelligent solutions for the digitalisation of agricultural estates; The olive tree and nuts: aid from the new CAP and the maximum use of natural resources, or the Conference on the herbicide Glyphosate.

The show will also host professional meetings such as the meeting of the Council of Colleges of Commercial Agents of Catalonia, the assembly of members of the FECOC (Federation of Catalan Sheep and Goat Breeders’ Associations) or the meeting of the jury of the Award for Technological Innovation and Safety in the Design of Agricultural Machinery and Equipment for the Agri-food Industry.

To this should be added the various activities (exhibition, displays, presentations, games) organised by Lleidadrone and the Virtual Reverse Mission Agrotech 2021, which will see the participation of 10 countries (Chile, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Peru, Dominican Republic, South Africa and Turkey).

The 67th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair (National Agricultural Machinery Show) and the 36th edition of Eurofruit (Professional Trade Fair for Fruit Industry Suppliers) will take place from 30 September to 3 October at the Fira de Lleida.

INOTRUF will present its products at the Sant Miquel Fair – Eurofruit

INOTRUF is a company dedicated to the production of mycorrhizal plants with black truffle (T. melanosporum) and summer truffle (Tuber aestivum, T. uncinatum). We have the most modern facilities for the production of high quality mycorrhizal plants.

We have 1400 m2 of greenhouses dedicated to the pre-germination and germination of seeds as well as to the growth of the inoculated plant. Our desire to innovate and continue to position ourselves as a national and international reference has led us to equip ourselves with the most modern technologies. In our laboratory we carry out internal quality controls of the plants, in accordance with market requirements.

Our main concern is to obtain a high level of quality of the products that leave our nursery. We are at your disposal to meet your needs, wishes and special requests. We will do our utmost to meet your requirements.

We offer you a wide range of products, backed by a team that is characterised by its professionalism, cordial treatment and spirit of service.

You can find us at:
Facebook: @InotrufPlantasTruferas
Instagram: @inotruf

Information provided by the exhibiting company.

The Sant Miquel Fair and Eurofruit reach 88% bookings

Both fairs will be held from 30 September to 3 October and will be held in person.

The Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the Eurofruit show have already reached 88% occupancy of the total gross exhibition space (64,000 m2), with two months to go. The 67th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair (National Agricultural Machinery Show) and the 36th edition of Eurofruit (Professional Trade Fair for Fruit Industry Suppliers) will be held from 30th September to 3rd October at the Fira de Lleida facilities.

The general manager of Fira de Lleida, Oriol Oró, believes that the rate of contracting is correct, considering the current circumstances, and he is confident of being able to hold “a good trade fair in person, provided, of course, that the conditions and health guidelines in force on those dates allow it”. Oró recalls that Sant Miquel and Eurofruit constitute an important platform for supporting the agricultural world, especially in these times of pandemic, and that Fira de Lleida “is making a great effort to guarantee the holding of an attractive, complete and safe fair”.

It is worth remembering that the event will have a pioneering Artificial Intelligence solution implemented by Fira de Lleida to ensure the health safety of exhibitors and visitors. This is a video camera system that will monitor people entering and leaving the fairgrounds and will automatically warn them in real time when the protocols of capacity, social distance, use of masks, etc. are not met, so that security personnel will be able to act to rectify the situation.

Sant Miquel and Eurofruit will showcase a wide-ranging exhibition focusing on agricultural machinery, precision agriculture, equipment and services for agriculture and livestock farming, local agri-food products, automotive, financial services and insurance.

The Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and Eurofruit will host a large number of exhibitors from Spain and other European countries, according to Fira de Lleida’s forecasts, with a programme of parallel activities that will include technical seminars, conferences, presentations, drone demonstrations in the field of precision agriculture and professional meetings, among others.

The two trade fairs will also be the setting for the 50th edition of the Agricultural Book Prize, worth 3,000 euros, and the 6th edition of the Agricultural Technical Article Prize, worth 1,000 euros.

Machinery for nuts and dried fruit, present at the Sant Miquel Fair – Eurofruit

The nut sector will be present at the Sant Miquel Fair and the Eurofruit show with several exhibiting companies presenting machinery for the harvesting, processing, and post-processing of these products. Nuts and dried fruit have been gaining prominence in recent editions of the Lleida show thanks to the participation of equipment and nut marketing companies, as well as the organisation of conferences and presentations dedicated to these products.

This year’s edition will also be attended by firms such as Renatus Agro, a prestigious company specialising in all types of equipment (harvesting, processing, and post-processing) for almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and other nuts. The firm from La Mancha specialises in pistachio machinery (with equipment for separating the twigs, shelling, cleaning, eliminating voids, calibrating, and drying pistachios).

Nuts, an alternative for the future
In recent years, the sharp increase in international demand has led Catalan farmers, especially in Lleida, to increase their nut production. Some of the factors that have led to a commitment to these crops is the extensive knowledge that farmers have, as well as the availability of thousands of hectares of irrigated land in the Segarra-Garrigues Canal sector, which provide great possibilities for starting up crops with higher economic yields than those of sweet fruit.

On the other hand, the traditional varieties of almond —the largueta and the marcona— are being replaced by other similar varieties which have advantages such as the fact that they are late flowering, which allows them to escape frost, or that they are self-fertile, which saves on fertilisation interventions, which can be complicated by the weather or the lack of fertilisers. In fact, nuts in general suffer less from bad weather.

It should be remembered that almond, walnut, and hazelnut cultivation is deeply rooted in Catalonia (the first two in the province of Lleida and the latter in the province of Tarragona) and that Spain is the third largest producer of almonds in the world and the fifth largest producer of hazelnuts.

Forecasts for the 2020-2021 season
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the almond crop forecast for the 2020-2021 season is 353,705 tonnes in shell, 4% more than the previous season, while the hazelnut forecast is 12,324 tonnes, 1.6% more than last season. The importance of organic crops has also been highlighted, where nuts represent 30% of the total organic surface area of permanent crops.

It should be remembered that due to the difficulties this sector is experiencing as a result of the Covid-19 health crisis (which has reduced international trade and caused a drop in consumption in catering establishments), the sector has various aid measures promoted by the central government, such as the financing of companies affected by the crisis.

The Ministry also encouraged fruit and vegetable producer organisations (POs) to maximise the use of EU funds. Although the level of integration in POs at sectoral level has been increasing in recent years to reach 50%, differences persist depending on the products. Thus, while 68% of almond production is integrated in POs, in other growing crops (pistachio and walnut), marketing through these figures does not reach 2% of production.

The Ministry also presented an analysis of the area planted, which indicated that almonds represent 21% of the total area declared for this type of crop, while pistachio accounts for 67% and walnut 36%, in an expansion favoured by growing European demand.

The Ministry also highlighted the importance of organic cultivation, where nuts represent 30% of the total organic surface area of permanent crops, with an annual growth of 9% and a current implantation of 26%. Organic production represents a great opportunity for this sector, due to less competition with other producing countries.

The Sant Miquel Fair and Eurofruit are committed to precision agriculture

The sector is taking on a leading role in the exhibition area and in the technical activities that will be held in parallel to the fair.

The Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the Eurofruit show will once again be focusing on precision agriculture, a management strategy that collects, processes and analyses temporal, spatial and individual data and combines it with other information to support management decisions in accordance with estimated variability, thus improving efficiency in the use of resources, productivity, quality, profitability and sustainability of agricultural production. The 67th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the 36th edition of the Eurofruit show will take place from 30 September to 3 October in the Fira de Lleida exhibition centre.

Lleida’s double agricultural event will host numerous companies and innovations related to precision agriculture in areas such as drones, industrial refrigeration, irrigation systems, IT solutions for farm and livestock farm management, cost and resource management and the use of advanced GPS guidance systems for agricultural vehicles, among others.

Precision farming allows the collection of specific geospatial data in real time on soil, plant and animal requirements and the prescription and application of specifically targeted treatments to increase production and protect the environment. In agriculture, these controls of each plot of land enable careful management of cultivation, fertilisation, planting, sowing, mowing and harvesting.

GPS-based applications in precision farming are also being used in crop planning, topographical mapping, soil sampling, tractor guidance, crop scouting, variable rate applications and yield mapping. In addition, GPS allows farmers to work in low visibility conditions in the fields, for example in rain, dust, fog or gloom.

The main benefits of precision farming include increased profitability, full control of all crop-related tasks, improved quality of life for people working in the agricultural sector and increased automation. New technologies allow the automation of many of the aspects involved in agricultural production, which means great savings in time and costs, and the fact that they benefit sustainability and the environment.

The new trends in agricultural irrigation, at the Sant Miquel Fair – Eurofruit

The event will feature controlled fertiliser injection systems, probes for measuring underground humidity, underground irrigation systems and solar pumping systems, among others.

New trends in agricultural irrigation will play a prominent role at the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the Eurofruit show, a trade fair event that will take place from 30 September to 3 October at the Fira de Lleida exhibition centre. The irrigation sector —an area of agriculture that has benefited in recent years from two major generic advances, technification and the implementation of energy efficiency— will be represented by a wide range of services and innovations presented by several exhibiting companies.

Among other proposals, the event will host systems for the controlled injection of nitrogen from slurry to irrigation, underground moisture measurement probes, underground drip irrigation and solar pumping.

Current trends in the irrigation sector include the implementation of new solutions. Thus, remote reading for leakage control (real-time reading of subscriber meters and the application of advanced algorithms) makes it possible to control leaks or forecast demand. This factor is essential to achieve greater efficiency, both hydraulic and operational.

Also important is the implementation of smart irrigation (irrigation management according to the real needs of the crops and the state of soil moisture). In accordance with remote sensing and sensors installed in the fields, it is possible to calculate the water balance, apply technological solutions to know when and how much to irrigate in order to optimise the consumption of water resources and, thus, favour environmental sustainability.

Remote sensing is an important advance as it provides information on the state of crops without the need to deploy any assets. A further step in this trend is the automatic adjustment of irrigation scheduling through the application of algorithms, taking into account the water needs of the crop, the soil condition and the weather forecast. Improving environmental sustainability is one of the main advantages, since optimising water consumption also reduces the energy consumption used for pumping water.

Finally, the integration of remote sensing data with smart irrigation data is essential, as it is important for better decision making to be able to see all relevant system information in real time on a single platform.

Fira de Lleida receives the highest international recognition for two of its exhibitions

Certification awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

Fira de Lleida is the sixth largest trade fair institution in Spain in terms of the number of international trade fairs, after Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza and Barakaldo.

The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has awarded the Internationality label for 2021 to the Eurofruit (Professional Trade Fair for Fruit Industry Suppliers) and Municipalia (International Trade Fair for Municipal Equipment and Services) fairs, a double certification that reinforces Fira de Lleida’s international strategy and projection.

This recognition makes Fira de Lleida the 6th largest trade fair organisation in Spain in terms of the number of international events, behind Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza and Barakaldo, and the only Catalan trade fair with this seal of approval, apart from Barcelona. Fira de Lleida’s international projection is also reflected in its notable foreign presence at events such as Lleida Expo Tren and Innocamping.

The Internationality seal recognises Fira de Lleida’s efforts as a dynamic agent and generator of new business opportunities by expanding markets and attracting both foreign visitors and exhibitors, and allows the selected exhibitions to enter the Official Calendar of International Trade Fairs, which is published every year by the Official State Gazette (BOE).

According to Oriol Oró, general manager of Fira de Lleida, “international trade fairs are a key instrument for the commercial promotion and positioning of the city and the territory and provide greater value to exhibiting companies, as it is an incentive to participate” . Oró adds that “we are pleased to see the efforts made by Fira de Lleida to promote the internationalisation of companies recognised, and to be able to position ourselves as one of the leading trade fairs in Spain”.

It is worth remembering that this year’s Sant Miquel Fair and Eurofruit will take place from 30 September to 3 October, while Municipalia will be held from 19 to 21 October.

The last edition of the Sant Miquel Fair and Eurofruit hosted an inverse mission of distributors and importers from the agricultural sector from 9 countries (India, Panama, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, Serbia, South Africa, Uzbekistan and Chile), as well as a delegation from Belarus. Exhibitors included companies and organisations from Belarus, Egypt, France, Holland, Italy and Portugal.

On the other hand, the last edition of Municipalia registered exhibitors from Germany, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom, as well as several trade missions. Thus, the Multisectorial Association of Companies (AMEC Urbis) promoted an international action with representatives from France, Egypt, Morocco, Romania and Tunisia, while the Ibero-American Union of Municipalists (UIM) and Fira de Lleida organised an international technical mission made up of representatives from 8 Latin American countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic and Chile).

The Sant Miquel Fair and Eurofruit remain in digital format

Despite the will of the organisers, the evolution of the pandemic and the consequent uncertainty generated in the business sector make it inadvisable to maintain the classic approach of the Lleida show

This year, the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and Eurofruit will be held in their most atypical form, with no physical exhibitors and “re

Attività tecniche e professionali

D’altra parte, Fira de Lleida ritiene che, al di là dei limiti di questa soluzione, sia opportuno tenere la Fira de Sant Miquel in questo formato fondamentalmente digitale per mantenere almeno il ruolo di piattaforma formativa e informativa che la manifestazione ha avuto per decenni e “per rispetto” degli enti che hanno lavorato in questi mesi per organizzare le attività tecniche di questa edizione.

In questo senso, il direttore generale di Fira de Lleida, Oriol Oró, ha annunciato che sono già state programmate diverse attività in formato digitale, che possono essere seguite in streaming, interagendo via chat, e che saranno poi conservate sul sito web per eventuali consultazioni future.

Ci saranno anche alcuni eventi faccia a faccia, come la visita della missione commerciale bielorussa (con incontri d’affari e una presentazione d’affari). In questa visita della delegazione dell’ex Repubblica Sovietica spicca la costituzione della prestigiosa azienda produttrice di trattori MTW, la quinta al mondo per importanza nel suo settore, e che viene presentata “ufficialmente” a Lleida come porta d’ingresso per la commercializzazione in Spagna e nell’Europa meridionale.

Saranno inoltre consegnati personalmente il 49° Premio del libro agricolo e il 5° Premio dell’articolo tecnico agricolo, del valore di 4.000 euro, organizzati ogni anno nell’ambito della fiera Lleida. L’evento si terrà il 25 settembre. Le attività si svolgeranno a La Llotja de Lleida e presso la sede di Magical Media.

La 66° edizione della Fiera Agricola di Sant Miquel e la 35° edizione di Eurofruit Fair si svolgeranno dal 24 al 27 settembre.

converted” into a digital event that will offer an online catalogue of exhibitors, promoted through the networks, and various technical activities through the Internet, such as conferences and lectures (exceptionally, some face-to-face events will be held). The Delegate Commission of the Fira de Lleida Foundation, “despite the enormous technical, economic and human effort” carried out by the trade fair institution to hold the show, has taken this decision after evaluating the current situation in depth and after sounding out the sector, which views the present evolution of the pandemic and the measures which may be taken day by day by the health authorities with uncertainty.

Jaume Saltó, president of the Delegate Commission of the Fira de Lleida Foundation and the Lleida Chamber of Commerce, explained that the directors of the Fira de Lleida Foundation have concluded that, despite the 85% of exhibition space reserved for the summer, the uncertainty caused by the health situation in the sector does not guarantee a fair with the right contents and critical mass of visitors. Saltó explained that the health situation to date generates many doubts and that, in view of the unclear future, in the last week many companies have shown reticence in exhibiting.

Saltó also regretted the loss of the positive economic impact that the Sant Miquel Fair and Eurofruit generate on the territory, valued at some 8 million euros in sectors as hard hit as services for fairs (stand assembly, security, etc.), hotels and restaurants, transport and trade, among others.

With regard to the organisation of this year’s edition, the representatives of Fira de Lleida explained that during the first half of the year, Fira de Lleida’s commercial work and the contracting of space by companies (achieving the aforementioned 85%) took place, which were contracted with the intention of attending the fair but with the unknown quantity of the evolution of the pandemic and the real situation in September. On 22 July, the Catalan Civil Protection Territorial Plan (Procicat) approved a specific plan for the fairs, and during the month of August Fira de Lleida worked under pressure and uncertainty to find and contact technology suppliers who would allow the regulations to be met and the fair to be held with guarantees, and the entire event was redefined and adapted to the new protocol.

On 2nd September, the plan for the show was presented to Fira de Lleida’s Delegate Commission and the celebration of the show was approved with the measures adopted to guarantee compliance with Procicat’s regulations. The Commission then informed the sector of the characteristics of the show’s new approach, which expressed its concerns and fears about the present and future situation of the pandemic and questioned the viability of the trade show with the measures required by Procicat.

The member institutions of the Fira de Lleida Board of Trustees reiterate that, precisely because of the economic situation generated by the Covidien-19 pandemic, a great effort has been made during these months to be able to hold this year’s edition of Sant Miquel and Eurofruit with the maximum guarantees of safety, considering these shows to be a lever for economic reactivation and the generation of business confidence, as well as a sign of the progressive return to normality. In this sense, it was planned to implement a cutting-edge system with Artificial Intelligence to ensure compliance and traceability of the measures set out in the Procicat action plan and guarantee the safety of visitors, exhibitors and organisers.

Technical and professional activities

On the other hand, Fira de Lleida considers that, beyond the limitations of this solution, it is advisable to hold the Sant Miquel Fair in this basically digital format in order to maintain at least the role of training and information platform that the show has had for decades and “out of respect” for the entities that have worked in recent months to organise technical activities for this edition.

In this sense, the general manager of Fira de Lleida, Oriol Oró, has announced that various activities have already been programmed in digital format, which can be followed via streaming, interacting via chat and which will then be kept on the website for possible future consultations.

There will also be some face-to-face events, such as the visit of the Belarusian trade mission (with business meetings and a business presentation). In this visit of the delegation from the former Soviet republic, the incorporation of the prestigious MTW tractor manufacturer, the fifth most important company in the world in its sector, stands out. It is being “officially” presented in Lleida as a gateway for its commercialisation in Spain and southern Europe.

The 49th Agricultural Book Award and the 5th Agricultural Technical Article Award will also be presented in person, awards worth 4,000 euros which are organised annually within the framework of the Lleida show. The event will take place on 25 September. The activities will take place at La Llotja de Lleida and at the Magical Media headquarters.

The 66th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the 35th edition of the Eurofruit show will take place from 24th to 27th September.

The Sant Miquel Fair claims its role as an economic motor without renouncing security

Organisers say it will be a benchmark for the rest of the exhibition world

It will use an innovative artificial intelligence system to detect and monitor compliance with standards for prevention, mitigation and containment of the epidemic in real time

Utilizzerà un innovativo sistema di intelligenza artificiale per rilevare e monitorare il rispetto delle norme di prevenzione, mitigazione e contenimento dell’epidemia in tempo reale

This edition is specifically aimed at “visitors who are really interested in buying

The Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the Eurofruit show cannot renounce their role as an economic engine, an economic dynamizer and a business meeting point, as well as the role of a reference point for sectors such as agriculture, livestock and the automotive industry, guaranteeing the health safety of people at all times in the face of the threat of the Covid-19. This was the opinion expressed today by the Mayor of Lleida and President of Fira de Lleida’s Board of Trustees, Miquel Pueyo, who reviewed the meeting of the Delegate Committee of the Fira de Lleida Foundation with regard to the upcoming edition of Sant Miquel and Eurofruit. Pueyo reminded the audience of the value of any action aimed at recovering the economy, and pointed out the great economic impact of the fair on the participating sectors and on the territory as a whole.

The Mayor stated that the Lleida-based show, which this year will implement an innovative Artificial Intelligence system to ensure compliance with health care protocols, will also become a pioneering model to be followed by other trade fair events in the country. It should be remembered that the agricultural trade fair will take place from 24th to 27th September in the Fira de Lleida exhibition centre.

The president of the province of Lleida, Joan Talarn, stressed the responsibility of the patron institutions of Fira de Lleida both in terms of the safety of citizens and the economic promotion of the territory. He also stressed that this edition of Sant Miquel and Eurofruit could become a model to follow for the rest of the fairs in the province of Lleida.

Ramon Farré, the Government of Catalonia’s delegate in Lleida, stressed that the rigorous security measures that will be put in place (capacity control, use of masks, social distance) will be associated with a control of the traceability of all the people who enter the fair to avoid contagion in the event of detecting a positive one, adding that activities such as the technical conferences will be especially controlled, “and many will even be done telematically”.

“Great news for the city, for the business fabric of the territory and for the country”. Jaume Saltó, the president of the Lleida Chamber of Commerce, stated that the celebration of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and Eurofruit marks a milestone in the beginning of the economic recovery and that it represents a great business opportunity for companies from the sectors represented at the fair that have had little commercial activity in recent months.

Finally, the general manager of Fira de Lleida, Oriol Oró, explained the pioneering Artificial Intelligence solutions that will be applied at the Sant Miquel Fair, with a video camera system that will monitor people entering and leaving the fairground and will automatically warn in real time when the protocols for capacity, social distance, use of masks, etc. are not met, so that security personnel can act to rectify the situation.

Oró added that this is a show which responds to various economic sectors (agricultural machinery and services, automotive industry, civil engineering machinery, etc.) and that this year “is aimed at visitors who are really interested in buying more than those who simply want to come for a walk”.

It should be remembered that the health safety system to be installed at the fair consists of a series of cameras with a sophisticated algorithmic system, designed to detect, manage alerts and notify those in charge of the fair in real time, so that they can act and guarantee the protection of people when basic safety standards are not met: social distance, gauging, use of masks and body temperature control.

When the software detects that any of the rules are not being completed, it generates an alert and sends a notification to those responsible for the Fira de Lleida. Internal workers or employees identified by the system communicate the infraction and execute the pertinent actions according to the protocol established by shifts and/or communication channels, implemented through push messages from the app, SMS or email, always aided by the control panel which includes camera management for scenes and heat maps for viewing by areas.

This software, developed by AI.JUST, a spin-off of the Lleida-based company Just Digital, is the first technological solution, a pioneer in Spain, capable of identifying in a complete manner and in real time the four main security standards required for the prevention, mitigation and containment of Covid.

Novelties in the field of irrigation at the Sant Miquel Fair – Eurofruit

Controlled fertilizer injection systems, probes for measuring underground humidity, underground irrigation and solar pumping installations, among others, will be presented

The Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the Eurofruit show, a fair that will take place from 24th to 27th September, will offer a wide range of services and novelties related to irrigation. The controlled injection of fertilizer (nitrogen) from slurry in irrigation, probes to measure underground humidity, underground drip irrigation, solar pumping – all systems belonging to the orbit of precision agriculture – will be some of the protagonists of this year’s edition of Sant Miquel and Eurofruit. The irrigation sector will be represented at the event by various specialised companies, including R.S. Agrotécnica del Segrià, Ongrub Medi Ambient and Hidromatic Ponent, SL.

Irrigation is an area of agriculture that is becoming increasingly professionalised, and which has benefited in recent years from two major generic advances, technification and the implementation of energy efficiency. The sector has undergone an evident transformation, stronger in large farms, which are often the object of important investments, and slower in small and medium-sized farms, where obsolete equipment and the obstacle of generational change make modernization difficult.

Hidromatic de Ponent will present a programme for injecting slurry into fruit farms (previously developed for cereals), developed jointly with the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food, which, by adapting to the new regulations, makes it possible to replace the traditional method of randomly applying this organic waste with a precision method. Thus, through a conductometer, it is possible to calculate exactly the fertilizer value of the slurry in nitrogen and therefore the exact amount applied in each irrigation operation, avoiding the excess or lack of fertilizer (we are no longer talking about liters of water with slurry applied, but about kilos of nitrogen introduced). Normally it is applied through sprinkler irrigation, although tests are now being carried out with the drip system.

The company will also present an air injection system in reservoirs to oxygenate the water and prevent eutrophication (a process of pollution caused mainly by lack of oxygen and excess nutrients in the water, with the consequent massive proliferation of algae, accumulation of sludge, etc.).

For its part, the firm Ongrub Medi Ambient will present in Sant Miquel – Eurofruit systems for remote control of irrigation through various products (via radio, single cable or GPRS) and using a personal computer. Through a link with a PC, it is possible to have specific information about the system (history, incidents, irrigation situation, etc.) and to modify parameters, programs, etc. These systems are adapted to the different needs of users (whether they are irrigation communities, farms or parks and gardens) and for all types of irrigation (drip, sprinkler, underground, etc.).

Ongrub also works in the field of solar pumping systems applied to farm irrigation and has already installed about 200 hectares.

R.S. Agrotécnica del Segrià will present a wide variety of energy efficiency and automation systems applied to irrigation. As a novelty, the probes to measure the humidity, which register the availability of water in the subsoil and the facility of the plant to absorb it, and consequently allow to know how much and when it is necessary to irrigate, stand out. The records can also be consulted from the mobile phone with a specific application. Obviously, these are systems that also seek efficiency in water consumption, since they allow the application of the amount strictly necessary for the plant.

These devices allow to adjust the exact dose of water needed by the plant, considering that a deficiency may hinder the growth of the plant (and of the fruit or seed), but an excess may harm it since it drags the nutrients and affects the organoleptic quality of the product.

The company also offers “practical, efficient and competitive” solar pumping installations suitable for all types of farms, from large holdings to small orchards.

Solar pumping is a system that seeks efficiency by extracting or pushing water to a given place with photovoltaic solar energy – thanks to the use of solar panels and a converter that allows the energy captured by the panels to be used -, replacing the traditional supply through the electricity grid or with diesel generators, with its corresponding economic cost in electricity or fuel.

With regard to underground drip irrigation, it has the advantage that it requires less pressure (approximately half) than sprinkler irrigation, saves energy and water (as it has fewer losses), does not hinder machines working on the surface and cannot be damaged by the action of animals. At the same time, however, it has a higher cost of installation, a longer life span, it is complicated to detect breakdowns, it is not feasible for all types of land and it requires a more superficial cultivation, as the pipes are buried at a shallow depth.

The 66th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the 35th edition of the Eurofruit fair will take place from 24th to 27th September in the Lleida exhibition centre.