Since DLG-Feldtage was first hosted in 1988, the DLG International Cropping Comparison has been fascinating visitors attending the event. Here, various cultivation systems are compared against one another in a cropping competition using the example of winter wheat. 10 teams from six countries will be taking part in 2021. The participants come from Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia and the Czech Republic. In previous years, the highest yield, the best quality and the best financial result were the sole criteria. A new aspect has been added to this year's cropping comparison, however. Creativity is in demand.
Not only the highest profit margin is required; instead, courage to think outside the box and try out unconventional strategies is needed. After harvesting, it is then time to assess whether the individual targets have been achieved and to evaluate which measures have proved worthwhile.
A total of ten teams from Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia and the Czech Republic will be taking part and competing against each other in the DLG International Cropping Comparison for Winter Wheat 2020, which has been designed as part of the technical programme and as a major visitor attraction at DLG-Feldtage. All of the participants will be focussed primarily on professional exchange with experts and farmers and on maintaining and developing their own network. Besides exchanging experience and knowledge, however, the spirit of competition is an additional incentive for the participants. Cultivating wheat under unfamiliar conditions and comparing your own strategy with that of others – who will come out on top here?
However, this cropping comparison is proceeding completely differently to what was planned. "It is difficult to make decisions from afar," says Albin Gunnarson, who is talking part in the cropping comparison in a group together with seven other Swedish farmers. Added to this is the fact that, this year, the foreign participants do not even have the opportunity to inspect the plots during the trial due to the travel restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, the participants from the various nations are facing up to the local conditions with their wheat cultivation strategy.
In 10 variants with four repetitions each, eight different varieties are being cultivated in quality standards A, B, C and E.
Patriotisk Selskab (consulting company)
NRW Chamber of Agriculture – Soest district office
Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of AgriSciences
Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Department of Agriculture, Ecotrophology and Landscape Development
Strickhof Agricultural School
10-tonsklubben (a group consisting of 8 Swedish farmers)
Institut für Bodenkultur und Pflanzenbau e.V.
South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Department of Agriculture
Brockhof estate (DLG-Feldtage event location)
The following test field handover parameters were available to the participants at the start of the cropping comparison.
The Brockhof Estate, the Feldtage location, is situated in NRW at the edge of the Soester Börde between the Ruhr region and Kassel directly adjacent to the A 44 motorway at a height of approximately 100 m above sea level. The average annual rainfall volume is 773 l/m2 and the average annual temperature is 10.3 °C.
The soil type at the location is loess/black earth with a soil rating of 67 to 72 points. The soil character is sandy loam (SiC - C: 22%, Si: 70%, S: 8%) and has a pH value of 6.9. The usable field capacity (uFC) is 250 mm. The soil reveals the following nutrient contents:
P: 7.3 mg/100 g soil
K: 19.5 mg/100 g soil
Mg: 2.8 mg/100 g soil
Humus content: 1.8 - 1.9%
Crop rotation: barley (2019), potatoes (2018), wheat (2017)
Possible problems at the location: mice
Winter wheat comparison - an international competition
One competition, 10 teams from 6 countries and the question: Who achieves the highest profit margin? We wanted to know from Albin Gunnarsson from Sweden and Markus Bopp from Switzerland what strategies they will use in 2020 and how they see their chances of winning.