From Realtà Mapei International n° 77 - 12/11/2019
Savio, in the province of Ravenna (central Italy), just on the edge of the Po Delta Regional Park, is the home of Valle Standiana Farm. Polyglass supplied MAPEPLAN T WT membrane to waterproof 13 hectares of tanks used for hydroponic cultivation, the largest in Europe in terms of size, applied technology and quality of crops harvested. A truly hi-tech greenhouse where various varieties of lettuce are grown in tanks floating on water, with a low impact on the environment and almost zero waste.
The idea to transform 13 hectares of land into a hydroponics farm came from a visionary businessman, Gianluca Rossi. After a number of years studying the subject and spending time abroad, he decided to take on the risks caused by climate change and the various diseases found in open-field cultivation, as well as improve working conditions. Which was how the Ninfa brand of lettuce was developed, marketed by the companies Rossi Ortofrutta Srl and Agr’It Produce Srl.
99% of Valle Standiana Farm’s hydroponic cultivation system is automated, guaranteeing that products are consistently high in quality without the risks normally associated with open-field farming. In fact, thanks to this floating system, it is possible to grow lettuce without the use of herbicides, considerably reducing the use of chemical substances.
Unlike traditional cultivation systems, nutrients (mineral salts) are contained in the water and are fed through a high technology distribution system. They are absorbed by the plants according to their individual daily requirements, which means there is no leaching phenomenon or waste and they do not end up in the surrounding land or groundwater.
The greenhouses also have open sides to provide natural ventilation and oxygenation.
WATERPROOFING THE TANKS
Design work on this complex system also involved the contribution of Polyglass to waterproof the water tanks. The product chosen in this case was MAPEPLAN T WT, a synthetic waterproofing membrane in flexible polyolefin TPO/FPO, suitable for hydroponic cultivation systems, potable water tanks, reservoirs, basins, cisterns, and irrigation canals.