Conservative agriculture

Baccoleno Farm

Baccoleno Farm

Success Story

The Baccoleno Farm is located in Asciano, a small village in the province of Siena (Tuscany region, Italy). The farm has a surface area of 300 ha with 270 ha as a sowing area. The farm staff is composed of 2 people as permanent staff, 1 person as a temporary worker, and another person as temporary staff for the farmhouse. They are cultivating the following crops: durum wheat (Triticum durum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), field bean (Vicia faba subsp. Minor), Italian sainfoin (Hedysarum coronarium L.), Egyptian clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.), trifolium squarrosum (Trifolium squarrosum L.), Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.). The farm adopts the principle of conservation farming throughout the farm surface, so also applies some of the practices of regenerative agriculture (RA), i.e. no-tillage management, keeping the residues on the soil, precision agriculture to reduce the agrochemical input, crop rotation, and cover crop sowing.

In 2017, he started to apply conservative agriculture (CA) practices and he still applies those practices nowadays. He started to apply the CA practices on a part of the farm; after he detected that no yield differences were obtained with respect to conventional agriculture, all the farm surface was converted to the previous practices. He also detected lower costs as compared to conventional agriculture. He did not receive any training about conservative practices he was self-taught, obtaining information from agricultural websites and other farmers; no training was provided from the regional as well as from agricultural technicians.  However, he received financial support to start soil conservative practices from the Tuscany region through Rural Development Program (PSR). As I previously mentioned, he detected lower production costs resulting from lower fuel consumption as compared to conventional agriculture, lower wear and tear on agricultural machines, less labor use and more free time for the farmer, soil protection against erosion, and improved soil organic matter. On the other hand, he claimed about the lack of training on the previous practices as well as about the skepticism from other farmers; he overcame previous through the advice of other farmers and advice on agricultural websites. To sum up, the farmer is very happy to apply soil conservative practices, but he wants to introduce some changes in conservative practices methods because of soil compaction as the soil of his farm is very heavy and tenacious.

LABELS: Italy, crop-production, conservative agriculture