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The great reclamation works started a long time ago but completed in more recent times, in particular from the end of the 19th century to the '70s have turned tens of thousands of hectares of formerly marshy and waterlogged terrain into cultivable land.
The large patches of wet pasturage lands and valleys used for fishing were, over the last two centuries, replaced by farming lands drained and reclaimed thanks to water draining pumps. Only a few thousands of hectares in the Ravenna area were reclaimed by infilling, diverting into them the water of the Apennine rivers, rich with deposits, thus favouring the natural process of silting up of the wetlands.


Agriculture, today, is a key production activity carried out in the areas near the wetlands, an activity that has a heavy and negative effect on environment preservation, influencing quality (eutrophication caused by fertilisers and zootechnical products wastes; pollution caused by pesticides) and quantity (use for irrigation) of the waters Agriculture influences directly preservation of the riparian or marshy environments only when it is exercised inside the flood plains or in the border areas of the wetlands.

The agricultural areas' main feature is the so-called "larga" ("broad") a series of large land lots of arable low-lying lands recently reclaimed; the substratum can either be prevalently clayey or sandy.

The most common crops are wheat, corn, sorghum, beetroot, alfalfa, sunflower, soy, while in the more inland areas, where lands are more peaty, rice also is a common crop. There are also: areas with specialised horticultural crops, especially in sandy soils, with structures like greenhouses and irrigation networks; poplar groves, usually inside the flood plains; small vine and orchard patches, scattered in the agricultural land, dominated by the arable lands (the "larga") and concentrated along North-South lines parallel to the coastline and corresponding to the ancient dune chains.
Other arboreal crops are often found near the main water bodies, with higher lands and mostly clayey soils, therefore dating back to older reclamations.

Many low-lying lands which also feature winter aquifer raising, near the wetlands, are still today kept as cultivable land although they have become non-productive, however recently some low-production agricultural areas have been flooded or reforested thanks also to the EU funds for reconversion of arable lands.
In compliance with recent EU policies and thanks also to the commitment of the Park several initiatives have been started to convert agricultural practices into more sustainable initiatives and organic farming initiatives.
This idea has also led to the implementation of several agricultural and environmental agreements as well as information and awareness raising activities that led to the developing of a learning circuit programme.


Agricultural and environmental agreements

Quality of the territorial system in Campotto. Strategic planning in crucial areas: flora, fauna and agricultural enterprises

Responsible Rural Areas Management in the Volano Mesola Goro Po Station of the Po Delta Park, with focus on the hydrological and geological issues


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