Introduction of durum wheat for double use & new cheese types


The farm ‘Montentosu’ of Manca family is located in the North West Sardinia Island (Italy).

The main innovations that can be found in the farm are the following:

1. Grazing of dairy sheep on durum wheat var. Cappelli

Durum wheat is cultivated in the farm because it is used to produce pasta and bread in the farmers’ holiday farm. The adopted seed rate of durum wheat is below the usual seed rate of cereals in the area. Sheep graze on durum wheat up to the end of March. Sheep grazing favours the development of a higher number of spikes and a higher grain production. At the same time, wheat produces abundant winter forage thanks to the high tillering and re-growth rate.

2. New cheese types

Milk produced in the farm (sheep milk, goat milk, cow milk) is partially used on farm to pro-duce unique cheese types (semi-seasoned cheese based on sheep-goat-cow milk; semi-seasoned cheese produced with piglet rennet; cheese produced with thistle rennet; ‘fossa cheese’ produced in cooperation with a producer located in the Italian Peninsula).

Reason for the innovation

  • Increase farmers income
  • Develop new products with new taste
  • Increase the potential number of consumers, including vegetarians

Farm description


  • Soil types: clay soils, pH < 7
  • Climate: Mediterranean climate
  • Altitude: 480-500 m a.s.l.
  • Slope: 10-15%

Grassland management

  • Grazing : Yes, on annual cereals and legume-based mixtures
  • Grazing management type: part time rotational grazing on cereals up to the end of March (5 hours per day) and part time rotational grazing on forage mixtures (1 hour per day) only for lactating sheep.
  • Length of the grazing season: 12 months
  • Forage conservation type: Hay
  • Fertilisation rate: 50 kg/ha of diammonium phosphate


  • Annual Work Units: 5 full time and 5 seasonal work-ers (6 months per year)
  • Agricultural Area : 180 ha UAA
    • 3 ha, wooded pasture
    • 75 ha, cereals
    • 90 ha, legume-based mixtures (clovers -oat)
    • 18 ha, natural permanent pastures
  • Activity: milk production from sheep (Sarda breed) and goat (Saanen breed) and cow (Pezzata Rossa breed)
  • Number of heads (LSU): 79
  • Stocking rate referred to total farm area: 0,425 LSU per hectare

Animal performance

  • Milk production: 350-380 l per head per year for sheep, 885 l per head per year for goats, 6000 l per head per year for cows
  • Meat production: 300 milk lambs and 600 milk goats per year, slaughtered 28 days after birth (carcass weight: 6-7 kg)

Why it is working

The farmers:

  • found a synergy between animal breeding and cereal grain production
  • manage a holiday farm and this helps them to sell cheese
  • are very interested in innovations that allow the differentiation of prod-ucts and income increase
  • rely on external technicians and consultants to learn new techniques and develop new products

Additional information

Farming system

conventional farming

Domains of innovation

farm system, forage mixture, grazing management system, product processing

Main types of animal

dairy cattle, dairy goats, dairy sheep



Product type

Farmer portrait


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