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Experimental farms

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null “Mezzi” farm – Casale Monferrato

“Mezzi” farm – Casale Monferrato

Located in a bend of the Po river at about 105 m a.s.l., the “Mezzi” experimental farm covers an area of about 180 hectares, partly in the Municipality of Casale Monferrato and partly in that of Frassineto Po. About fifty hectares are used for nursery activities under five-year rotation with other agricultural crops; about twenty hectares, including natural woods, have been destined for restoration (project financed by the Piedmont Region). The remaining part is occupied by experimental and demonstrative poplar stands. 
The soil is alluvial, sandy or sandy-silty on a mainly gravelly substratum. The areas used for the cultivation of nurseries and most of the poplar groves are irrigated; irrigation is carried out with the sprinkling method. The water for irrigation is largely drawn from the aquifer at about 15 m depth and to a lesser extent by consortium channels. The farm is equipped with sheds, porches and a cold room for the conservation of the propagation material as well as tanks for hydrating the material before planting.

Le attività

Activities in the “Mezzi” farm

The activity is focused on the conservation of germplasm and on genetic improvement to obtain new poplar and willow clones for industrial and energy purposes. The experimental activity is focused on the economic sustainability of cultivation techniques, the assessment of environmental aspects, the identification of techniques for the sustainable management of pests and diseases, the assessment of the quantitative and qualitative aspects of wood production also in relation to climate change. Traditional wood plantations for the wood-based panel industry and the production of biomass for energy use are evaluated, as are others with mixed poplar plantations with other forest species (polycyclic) and with agricultural crops (agroforestry). 
There are orchards of autochthonous, hybrid poplars and willows and other material deriving from exchanges with other Countries for ex-situ collections, with a total of 1961 accessions and 415 clones. 
The farm has an agro-energies demonstration plant with the entire production chain of wood biomass up to the boiler,  which is used for heating part of the offices and a greenhouse. The Mezzi farm maintains the clones registered in the National Register of Basic Materials in accordance with Legislative Decree 386 of 2003.


Dr. Pier Mario Chiarabaglio

Dr. Pier Mario Chiarabaglio




lunedì - giovedì: 8:00-12:30, 13:15-16:30 venerdì: 8:00 -13:00


Tel. + 39 0142 330900, Fax +39 0142 55580

location_onStrada Frassineto, 32 15033 Casale Monferrato (AL)

GPS coordinates

45.145049 / 8.511583

Come raggiungerci


Autostrada A26 "Genova - Gravellona Toce", uscita Casale Monferrato SUD
Uscire dall’autostrada e svoltare a destra, in direzione Casale Monferrato. Procedere diritto fino al primo semaforo: svoltare a destra fino al semaforo successivo, quindi svoltare nuovamente a destra. 
Ci si immette così sulla strada per Frassineto. Superato il cavalcavia sopra l’autostrada, dopo circa 500 m si incontra, sulla sinistra, il cancello di entrata nell’Azienda Sperimentale "Mezzi". Entrare e percorrere la strada asfaltata per circa due km.

Dalla stazione

La stazione ferroviaria di Casale Monferrato, collegata con Alessandria e Torino, dista circa 4 km dall’Azienda Mezzi. La tratta Vercelli-Casale Monferrato è attualmente coperta tramite servizio pullman.

The history of the Center


The history of the Center

The Centre coordinates the research activities carried out in offices and laboratories located in Arezzo, Casale Monferrato (AL), Trento, Rome and Rende (CS) 

Research in Forestry started in 1922 in Florence, with the foundation by Aldo Pavari of the Regia Stazione Sperimentale di Selvicoltura (Royal Forestry Experimental Station), the first Italian research center in this field. 

In 1967 the Regia Stazione Sperimentale di Selvicoltura became the Istituto Sperimentale per la Selvicoltura (Forestry Experimental Institute) with headquarters in Arezzo and operational offices in Florence, San Pietro Avellana (Isernia) and Cosenza. In 2007 with the creation of the Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture (CRA) it became part of the CRA network of research centers, taking the name ‘Centro di Ricerca per la Selvicoltura’ (Forestry Research Center). 

The historical site in Florence was closed and the offices at Isernia (Unità di ricerca per la gestione dei sistemi forestali dell'Appennino) and Cosenza (Unità di ricerca per la selvicoltura in ambiente mediterraneo) become autonomous Research Units (R.Unit for the management of the Apennine forest systems and Research Unit for forestry in the Mediterranean environment, respectively). As a consequence of CREA reorganisation in 2017 the site at Isernia has become an experimental farm while the site at Rende is now a Research Group. 

The offices and laboratories at Casale Monferrato, formerly known as the Unità di ricerca per le Produzioni Legnose fuori Foresta (Research Unit for Wood Productions outside Forests), and even before as the ‘Istituto di Sperimentazione per la Pioppicoltura’ (ISP), were built on land owned by Cartiere Burgo and inaugurated on October 1, 1939. Sold in 1952 to the Ente Nazionale Cellulosa e Carta (ENCC) (National Body for Cellulose and Paper) and managed since 1999 by the Agricultural and Forestry Society (SAF), in 2001 they were donated to the Ministry of Agriculture, and from October 1 2004 have been part of CREA together with their branch offices and land in Rome, today an experimental farm (Azienda Ovile).