The farm that belongs to Saba brothers is located in the Nurra Plain in North West Sardinia (Italy).
A series of innovations were introduced in the farm.
1. Use of organic fertilisers . This practice is carried out by a public authority and compris-es: soil analyses before the fertilisation, distribution of fertilisers, soil tillage. The opera-tion has no cost for the farmer.
2. Milk is processed into cheese in a mini dairy factory. The farmers offer innovative products (also with herbs), which process technology has been set up in the farm. In total, more than seven types of cheese are produced. Cheese contain high levels of CLA be-cause the farmer supplies flax flour to sheep diet.
3. Farmers sell their products on farm, in a farm-to-fork sale circuit (Coldiretti Campagna Amica) and in their own shop in the city centre (Sassari).
4. Energy supply. The farm is provided with photovoltaic panels, that cover about 70% of farm energy requirements.
Reason for the innovation
- Increase farmer income
- Have a well distributed and continuous income among years to plan future investments
- Reduction of energy costs
- Soil types: alluvial soils of calcareous origin, alkaline pH
- Climate: Mediterranean climate
- Altitude: 150 m a.s.l.
- Slope: 5%
- Grazing : Yes
- Grazing management type: part time rotational grazing, combined with mowing (1 cut per year)
- Length of the grazing season: 12 months
- Forage conservation type: Hay
- Fertilisation rate: urea 150 kg/ha and ammonium nitrate 80 kg/ha, distributed during crop growth of cereals; organic fertilisers 7 t/ha, distributed to farm soils during soil tillage
- Annual Work Unit: 7 full time and 2 seasonal workers (2 months per year)
- Agricultural Area: 180 ha, 174 ha UAA:
- 7 ha, olive orchard
- 6 ha, natural permanent pasture
- 35 ha, crops for grain production (rye, triticosecale, barley, others)
- 35 ha, legumes (mixtures of clovers and vetches)
- 10 ha, lucerne under irrigation
- 81 ha, annual forage crops (mixtures of winter cereals and grasses; mixtures of annual medics and clovers)
- Activity: dairy sheep raising (Sarda breed)
- Number of heads (LSU): 120
- Stocking rate referred to total farm area: 0.67 LSU per hectare
- Milk production: 255-280 l per head per year
- Meat production: 800 milk lambs per year, slaughtered 28 days after birth (carcass weight: 6-7 kg)
Why it is working
The farmers are extremely attentive to production costs and adapt their production to minimise them.
They are interested in improving the labour conditions in the farm and have a strong attitude to innovation.
They succeeded in selling cheese in a farm-to fork market, attracting loyal customers.