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The earthquake in Emilia: InterPuls meets A.P.A. Modena

On May 29th a big earthquake struck Emilia. What does such an event could mean in a land whose economy is mainly based on agriculture and farming? The local farmers’ associations (A.P.A.) suddenly took action in order to coordinate the emergency phase, through the help of the local A.S.L. (public health units), of neighboring associations and of milking components producers. InterPuls, which is a world leading company in the production of milking machine components, immediately answered to the call from A.P.A. Modena, by giving 5 milking buckets, which allowed the farmers to overcome to the inaccessibility of the milking parlours.
The tragedy of Emilia surely got a big echoes on the media, but what is lacking is the consciousness of how deep could be the impact this event has on the dairy economy in this territory. InterPuls has met the chief of A.p.A. Modena, Mr. Pignatti, in order to deepen this matter. He was together with two colleagues of his from the Italian Breeders Association which were engaged in managing the first emergency.
“The most struck farms near Modena are more or less 67 “ began Mr. Pignatti “Managing the initial emergency meant first of all to take animals out of unsafe buildings and get ready to replace the unusable milking systems. Suddenly we activated a toll free number to be given to the Civil Protection to be spread out among farmers. Then we made a census of the mobile milking machines among neighboring associations and private manufacturers , who have quickly answered sending many to us”.
“It is really important to underline how our assistance was addressed to everyone, members and non-members. Furthermore the local A.s.l. and its veterinaries have offered a valuable help. Not only: I really want to stress the solidarity among farmers themselves and among associations, finally I have to say that the willingness of the A.P.A. Modena controllers has been fundamental: having interrupted their controls on milk, they were at the entire disposal of farmers even helping them in milking in some cases, notwithstanding the fact the some of them too were evacuees". Said Mr. Girardi.
“The several shakes brought by watering problems too “ added Mr. Giuliani “the aquifers got polluted and this caused an overstress to the submersible pumps which lead to many breakages”  
Once the first emergency will be over, there will be the main problem to face: there are 650.000 forms of cheese suffering,  thus farmers and dairies have lost twice: buildings and cash. Actually banks provide funds to the farmer against a warranty represented by batches of Parmigiano – Reggiano, this means that these warranties are spread over 2 years. Failing the warranty, cash fails too and so does the possibility of making investments.
“The sceneries are now very uncertain, it’s difficult to calculate the damages” Girardi said “if one considers that at a global level this earthquake means a loss of 1% of the national PIL, it is untimely to make an analysis in the dairy sector".
Both Mr. Pignatti and Mr. Giuliani asserted  that : “It’s quite impossible to quantify now the production drop that surely occurred. During the first days after the earthquake, the A.I.A. surveyors observed in some cases a decrease even equal to the 50%, but the agents influencing it are too many in order to be able to determine this loss precisely.
Bovines are creatures of habit and in such events they suffer from hard stresses which can cause slinks and heating absence. Furthermore feeding is fundamental and in emergency situations quantity or quality could diminish (above all when using silon mais). This contributes to the production drop, together with the hot and wet weather of these days.
It will be certainly possible to have more detailed data when the surveys will start again”. “The most important factors in Modena economy are first Parmigiano- Reggiano, then pears and grapes (wine) production. Considering the first equal to 40/50% of the gross salable production, it is easy to quantify the economic damage caused by the earthquake” infers Pignatti.
InterPuls, with its milking machines components, is ready and willing to cooperate with agencies such as A.I.A. and A.P.A. in order to help farmers to face the difficulties of the present and of the future, fortified by its experience in this sector.

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