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DLG-Feldtage 2018: Crop Production 2030 – Productivity. Innovations. Strategies.

Productivity and responsible use of resources are the keys to long-term productive prospects for crop production

Frankfurt/Main, Germany, 11th May 2018 – German farmers are currently faced with a long list of challenges that are impacting on their businesses, according to the president of the DLG (German Agricultural Society), Hubertus Paetow. Addressing agricultural journalists at Neugattersleben, Germany, on 26 April, he said the issues included: resistance to pesticides; approval-related loss of important active ingredients for crop protection; stagnation in breeding progress; loss of biodiversity; problems due to too narrow crop rotations; and new measures aimed at protecting water and soil.

And the list was no longer just a matter for the farming sector; the general public was also now part of the conversation, and had been for some time, he added. The discussion about the re-approval of glyphosate for use in agriculture was only the latest example where non-farmers had contributed to debates about changes in common agricultural practices.
The DLG president said that in order to shape the future of crop production, a change in direction was now necessary. Last year, the society had put forward its theses on the subject in the publication “Agriculture in 2030”, and that would continue in November when the DLG-Feldtage was held under the theme "Crop production 2030 – Productivity. Innovations. Strategies.”

For Paetow, productivity and responsible use of resources were the keys to long-term prospects for crop production. The focus should be on innovative cultivation strategies that integrated efficient and healthy varieties, efficient operating resources, processes and technology.

"Digital tools are increasingly helping," he said. “With their support, precision in tillage, sowing, fertilization, crop protection and harvest will be increased, and the efficiency in the field and in the logistics of the operation increased. Utilizing a variety of crop and plant-building tools and techniques could exploit site-specific potential, increase yields, increase soil fertility and minimize losses.”

At the same time, Paetow saw great opportunities for habitats in the fields, with them becoming more valuable to flora and fauna. “Traditional agricultural principles in different areas must find their way back into good agricultural practice,” he said. “The marketable cultivar spectrum should be expanded so that classical crop rotation systems meet a holistic agronomic demand. We must improve the economics of ‘new’ and niche crops – for example soybean, durum, spelt, emmer and legumes – through breeding, opening up new markets and returning to more summer cropping.”

As far as crop protection was concerned, preventative agricultural practices and the use of technical innovations (GPS, sensors and robotics) for mechanical pest management should be strengthened, alongside the use of resistant and tolerant crop varieties. Regular changes to the active ingredients in crop protection products, as well as the use of new and selective products, would also have to play a bigger role in the future, Paetow insisted, and he called on the regulatory authorities to ensure that a sufficient amount of pesticides for all crops could be quickly passed through the official tests.
 
Little penetration so far for digitization
Despite having been available for more than 15 years, precision farming technologies had achieved relatively little penetration in practice, Paetow said. This was partly because of the perceived difficulties associated with integrating the new technology into production systems, but was also due to the fact that the challenges facing farming businesses had shifted away from the details of production technology and towards strategic business development.
High and volatile product prices, and good growth opportunities, had resulted in agricultural entrepreneurs examining their priorities. "Growth by renting or purchasing additional land, or the construction of biogas plants, are considered much more important for the development of farms than the site-specific application of inexpensive fertilizers," said the DLG president, who admitted that one good thing about this delay was that the innovation landscape had sorted out a little and less-viable concepts had disappeared.

The DLG-Feldtage 2018, with its great information offering, offered farmers an excellent platform to learn about trendsetting varieties, processes, technologies and equipment, Paetow said.

"Nowhere else can farmers find out more quickly, more intensively and more comprehensively than in June at the DLG’s International Crop Production Center at Bernburg," he added. "Visiting the DLG-Feldtage 2018 is a must for every future-oriented crop farmer."

More information about this year’s DLG-Feldtage is available online at: www.dlg-feldtage.de
 
Media contact:
Malene Conlong
Tel: +49 69 247 88 237
Email: M.Conlong@dlg.org
 
 

Media Contact:

Malene Conlong
+49/ (0) 69 / 24788-237
m.conlong(at)DLG.org

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