Zannella’s Farm

Success Story

The Franco Zannella’s Farm is located in Candela, a small village in the province of Foggia (Apulia region, Italy). The farm has a surface area of 104 ha with 2 people as permanent staff. They are cultivating the following crops: durum wheat (Triticum durum L.), field bean (Vicia faba subsp. Minor), chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), white clover (Trifolium repens L.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). They apply soil conservation practices overall on the farm surface. Specifically, they have a sod seeding machine, therefore no-tillage management of the soil is carried out. Furthermore, they use some legumes for cover crop purposes, and they usually execute two-year rotations, alternating cereals, and legumes. The previous practices have been used from 2008 to the present (2022). They started to apply no-tillage because the soils of the farm became very poor with a low level of fertility as a consequence of deep soil works. The owner of the farm used to work as a tractor conductor for the plowing operations. He did not receive any training about the practice of soil conservation, but he learned the RA farming practices from agricultural websites and newspapers. Additionally, he did not receive any financial support to start soil conservation practices.

After the application of the RA practices, he experienced even higher grain yield compared to the previous years, better soil quality in terms of fertility as assessed by the number of earthworms in the first soil layers, a lower workload compared to the previous year, and a higher income; on the other hand, he pointed out the diffusion of weeds, especially Lolium, overall the field. For this reason, he decided to cultivate spring crops, such as sunflowers, but he highlighted the difficulty of growing sunflowers under no-tillage management. However, the farmer is very pleased to apply soil conservation practices as well as he wants to continue to apply them also because of the increasing costs of fuel.

LABELS: Italy, crop-production, no-tillage



Location of farm

Candela (Foggia, Italy)

Name of the farmer

Zannella Francesco

Size of farm

104 ha

Permanent staff


Main products of farm

Durum wheat, field bean, chickpea, clover, and sunflower


Farmland cultivated with RA practices


Crops produced with RA practices


Duration of using RA practices

Since 2008

Read more information in pdf...