Resource-efficient agriculture

Innovations for resource-saving agriculture

Our goal is to develop plant varieties for efficient and resource-saving agriculture in relevant markets and achieve an annual plant yield of one to two percent. One of our key concerns is securing long-term soil productivity. The continuous optimization of our ecological seed footprint, in addition to advice on environmentally sound management practices, are the focus of our development and customer service.

Challenges & goals

Climate change, a growing world population and resulting food needs, are a challenge for agriculture to deliver more crops worldwide under increasingly difficult conditions, using as few resources as possible, such as soil, water, nutrients and plant protection.

Under respective regional conditions, economic, ecological and social sustainability potential for humanity should be the end goal. Therefore, food production needs to be about combining technologies and farming practices so that they become more sustainable.

Agriculture using low-input conditions

Our breeding objectives are focused on using fewer pesticides and fertilizers, for example, by strengthening plant resistance, building more resistance, nutrient efficiencies and cropping properties. The main task of sugarbeet resistance breeding, for example, is to equip future varieties with the most important resistance genes, for respective countries and growing regions. The varieties should be able to protect themselves as much as possible, against pathogens or pests. For many years, we have also been carrying out low-input trials with corn, using greatly reduced quantities of nitrogen fertilizer, including the omission of fertilizer. We select corn varieties that have particularly good nutrient efficiency.

Agrotechnical testing and consulting on soil fertility

Agricultural methods have a significant effect on yields. Therefore, we carry out agrotechnical trials on our farms and testing areas and develop practical recommendations for cultivation; these include methods that prevent the erosion of soil from wind and water, reducing complete removal or leaching of nutrients. The so-called “mulch sowing method” has been predominantly tried and tested in Germany for the sowing of sugarbeets. With this method, unlike plowing, the soil is not turned, yet achieves an equal or higher yield than with plowing. As representative of the KWS AckerFit product line, we mark the optimal composition of catch crop blends.

Alternatives for plant protection, stress tolerance and nutrient balance

We are increasingly dealing with the importance and practical application of so-called biologicals, as an alternative or supplement to current standard treatment with chemical seed treatments. This alternative is becoming more and more interesting as a greener, longer-lasting and more sustainable impact is achieved, when compared with chemical seed treatments. Chemical residue in the soil and unwanted side effects, such as with many chemical seed treatments, are avoided. In the sugarbeet field, initial market launch activities for stress-protecting biologicals are already underway in areas with marginal conditions (e.g. Eastern Europe).

  • People at KWS

    Our goal is: less pesticide, less fertilizer.

    Markus Molthan, Head of Agroservice sugarbeet Germany, Austria

Your contact person

Marcel Agena
Marcel Agena
Corporate Sustainability
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