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Expo Milano 2015: Protecting soils to feed the planet

In 2015, the Universal Exhibition in Milan puts agriculture under the spotlights: How do we feed the world while preserving healthy soils? Michelin’s technological innovations contribute to solve this equation.
Expo Milano 2015: Protecting soils to feed the planet

In 2009, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisations from the United Nations) estimated that a 70% increase in global food production was needed to accommodate the needs of nine billion individuals by 2050. Since 95% of it is produced on soils, they are the basis for our food system. According to the FAO, the “alarming” global soil degradation level –estimated at 33%- results in a diminished capacity of the ecosystem to provide goods and services. In the end, our food security hinges on a more sustainable agriculture that is able to preserve soil quality.

One of the most common types of agricultural land damages is compaction. It is caused by increasingly heavy agricultural machines passing over it, often in dire climate conditions. This results in a compacted topsoil and rut. Ruts fosters water stagnation which can asphyxiate plants and encourage the development of disease. Agronomical yield is thereby impacted – divided by two or more when the land is strongly degraded. It also creates a need for regeneration work such as plowing and/or de-compaction which consume considerable fuel and time. Tires in direct contact with the ground play a key role in compaction and rut formation.

 Since it takes up to 1000 years to naturally create a centimeter of soil, protecting this non-renewable resource is a priority for Michelin, as a responsible agricultural player.

Thus, Michelin has decided to place a top priority in protecting topsoil.  For instance, MICHELIN Ultraflex technology tires operating at low pressure limit soil compaction and guarantee lasting agricultural potential. An independent study* acknowledged that this technology helps increase farming yields by up to 4%, which equates to a return on investment of over 24%.

This innovation materializes Michelin’s corporate involvement in favour of sustainable farming alongside its longstanding partner, New Holland Agriculture. The world leading machinery manufacturer offers this technology fitted to its whole range of tractors for greater soil protection. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover at Expo Milano 2015 the world largest tractor tires MICHELIN Axiobib, with a diameter of 2.32 meters, fitted on the New Holland giant T9!

*Study published in 2014 by the British agronomic institute Harper Adams comparing Michelin Ultraflex tires to radial tires http://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/news/202358/deputy-vice-chancellor-speaks-at-michelin-celebrations#.VZZH_Pntmkr

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Michelin participates with its partner New Holland in Expo Milano 2015

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