New Holland Agriculture announced on Nov. 29 a partnership with Il Raccolto farm in Bologna, Italy, to demonstrate sustainable farming practices through a circular economy model and a connected fleet environment. Il Raccolto shares the brand’s vision of environmentally and economically sustainable agriculture based on innovation, agriculture 4.0 technologies and energy independence. With this agreement, Il Raccolto becomes the first New Holland Smart Farm, partnering with the brand to show its developments driven by its Clean Energy Leader strategy and demonstrate the resulting advanced solutions. It will also support New Holland’s research by providing agronomic data collected through the telematics systems on the machines at work in the farm.

Carlo Lambro, New Holland brand president, says, “Il Raccolto farm is the perfect partner for this initiative. They are a loyal New Holland customer with a large fleet of our equipment, and like us, they view sustainability as a business approach. Our partnership will enable us to offer our customers and stakeholders the full experience of successful sustainable farming with energy-independence and a circular economy model. The visitors will be able to see first-hand how this can be achieved with New Holland’s equipment, where our advanced PLM and telematics solutions create an ecosystem of interconnected machines. The New Holland Smart Farm will be a knowledge center where we will demonstrate our equipment, deliver training, and share our technological and agronomic know-how, with the aim of spreading sustainable farming practices.”

Sustainability as a business approach

Il Raccolto farm demonstrates how, with the right approach supported by the right equipment and technologies, sustainability can go hand-in-hand with profitability. With 2,000 hectares, it is an arable and dairy farm, and vineyard. It grows cereals, wheat, livestock feed crops and seeds, as well as grapes. It produces milk for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Pignoletto wine – all to the high quality standards of DOP, DOC and IGP certification. 

It is forward-looking operation that invests heavily in innovative technologies. It runs a fleet of more than 80 New Holland machines made up of the brand’s most advanced tractors, combine harvesters, forage harvesters, telehandlers, balers, light construction equipment and grape harvesters.

Parag Garg, Chief Digital Officer CNH Industrial explains, “At Il Raccolto farm, New Holland will demonstrate first-hand its vision for Agriculture 4.0, as many of the machines in the farm’s fleet are connected through MyPLM Connect telematics. We know that a connected fleet provides more efficiency and uptime, ultimately providing a higher ROI for our customers. This partnership is yet another example of how New Holland is leading the future of farming by delivering the best digital and technology solutions to our customers.”

Energy Independent Farm: a circular economy approach for carbon-neutral farming

Il Raccolto also shares New Holland’s vision of the role of alternative energy sources in farming. It operates its own anaerobic biodigester and currently produces biogas from the farm’s agricultural waste. It plans to start production of biomethane and is working towards becoming entirely energy independent.

This will enable New Holland to demonstrate its Energy Independent Farm model, where animal and food waste, crop residues or specific energy crops are used to generate biogas in a biodigester. The biogas is used to power the farm and refined into fuel-grade biomethane to power a New Holland Methane Power Tractor. The by-products of this complete process are used as natural fertilizers and help to improve soil quality. This closed-loop circular economy approach can achieve a carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative agriculture.

A center for knowledge exchange and a full experience of sustainable farming in action

Il Raccolto farm will have a multi-faceted role as the New Holland Smart Farm. It will be the brand’s official Demonstration Farm in Italy and the base for its European Training Team.  It will host events for its dealers and customers to enjoy the full experience of sustainable farming with New Holland in the field. It will also be a center for knowledge exchange with New Holland employees, aimed at improving the customer experience through an in-depth understanding of agriculture 4.0 technologies, the circular economy model and biomethane on the farm.