Whether it is a hot espresso or a creamy cappuccino – one caffeinated drink after another comes out of the coffee machine. It is five in the morning and more than 30 men are gathered together in the farmyard of the Italian agricultural enterprise “Agricoloa Cazzola”, holding a coffee cup in their hand.
33 permanent employees and some 30 seasonal workers are employed by the Cazzola company in a radius of 50 – 60 km.
It is the middle of August and harvesting time in Salizzole, an Italian community about 20 kilometres southeast of Verona. Now, primarily maize is chopped and transported 20 hours a day. The long work days begin every morning with instructions from the farm manager Paolo Cazzola and the staff for the first shift. The boss is sincere and warm towards his workers, but also decided. Paolo Cazzola is not only the boss, but also the heart of the company. He is also the first one to drive to the fields and decide whether or not maize will be chopped that day. The 31-year-old has been working on the farm, which originally was founded by his father and uncle, for 14 years already. He is responsible for the cultivation of their own 1,200 ha farm as well as 4,000 hectares of farmland that they cultivate as contractors.
“My father and my uncle started 20 years ago with some 70 hectares of land and 80 cows,” explains the young farm manager. “They both have expanded our farm over the years. When my cousin Damiano and I actively joined the business, the first thing we did in 2007 was to build our first biogas facility.” Today the Cazzola farm has three biogas facilities and 500 cows in addition to their arable land. Paolo takes care of their own agricultural areas, the contracting business, the fleet and the workshop. His cousin Damiano Cazzola is responsible for the dairy farm, animal husbandry as well as the biogas facilities.
The main plant that is cultivated in the Salizzole region is maize. The Cazzolas cultivate about600 hectares of their farmland with maize, which is then used for biogas and fodder for the cows. “The results that we achieve on the field are decisive for the optimal conversion in our end products,” says Damiano Cazzola, describing the work his cousin Paolo and his employees do. “That means: The healthier the plant is, the higher the quality of the milk from our cows and the higher the energy production will be.”
The year 2016 was a very good year for maize, according to Paolo. He drives his white pick-up truck on the fields for several hours every day to check and coordinate the work. At two in the afternoon, the first shift is finished work and the second group begins to work until midnight. “During this highpressure time, we even have a team of mechanics at night for the maintenance and repair of the machines,” says Paolo, describing the planned processes.
Because they can hardly afford downtimes, the Cazzola company relies on Fendt. Four forage harvesters, the last one is a Katana 65 and a Katana 85, as well as 30 Fendt tractors take over diverse work. “We use the high-horsepower tractors for heavy work, from deep tillage to storing the silage in the clamp silos,” says Paolo, describing the Fendt tractor operations. “We mainly use the mid-sized tractors for transport work with trailers or tankers or for medium-deep cultivation, such as tillage, harrowing or soil loosening. We use the smaller tractors for harvesting hay and sowing. Each machine works an average of 2,000 hours a year. We have several that already have more than 20,000 hours on them.”
They only discovered the Fendt brand by accident. “In August 2003, we urgently needed a tractor, because our previous tractor stopped working during work in the field. The only tractor that could be delivered quickly was a Fendt 712 Vario. We tried it and quickly discovered that we had a first-class machine. First we bought one each year, then more and more, until we had 30-32 machines.” The first 712 Vario is still at work on the farm. “It now has more than 22,000 work hours and we want to keep it as a collector’s item,” laughs Paolo.
It is now evening and Paolo Cazzola is still working. A brief siesta and a double espresso do a good job of making him alert again. After all, he wants to inspect his employees’ work for the day and which fields can be worked by the early shift. “We are currently expanding rapidly. Our business has increased turnover and business volume every year. The cultivated areas are increasing, and with it the work. This is where Fendt is a help. Admittedly, if you compare prices, Fendt tractors cost more. But in the long term, the substantial investment pays off. We do not have any long downtimes and have an outstanding relationship with our Fendt dealer Agri-Verde s.r.l. from Verona.” Paolo Cazzola grew into his parents’ business as a matter of course. Together with his cousin Damiano, he is now responsible for the Cazzola company, the employees and also the customers. Paolo’s little son already sits in the pick-up beside his Dad and drives over the fields. The seed for the next generation of the family-run Cazzola business has already been planted.