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.