Corn and runner beans combined: Good for animal feed, good for insects
Corn and bean plants together in one field: A method that has been practiced in South America for 2000 years is being attempted by more and more farmers here in Germany. The benefits are obvious: more food for bees and up to two percent more protein in the silage. But in the end, it primarily comes down to the type of bean.
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From doubter to man of conviction: farmer Friedrich-Wilhelm Klopp now plants a mixed crop of corn and runner beans.
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From a bird’s eye view the field looks like a jungle. Although the bean uses the corn plant as a climbing aid, the corn plant’s development proceeds unhindered.
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Rather than doing any harm at all, the mixed cultivation of runner beans and corn increases the field’s biodiversity.
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Farmer Friedrich-Wilhelm Klopp (left) and Benjamin Simon, KWS expert consultant for corn, are testing the development of corn plants grown with runner beans.
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The mixture of corn and bean plants also increases the concentration of protein in the silage.
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KWS expert Benjamin Simon (right) says that the production of renewable energy on the basis of mixed corn and runner bean silage works quite well. This is an important point for farmer Friedrich-Wilhelm Klopp, as he operates a biogas plant.
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Insects in particular benefit from mixed corn and runner bean crops. For example, honey bees and bumble bees find a larger food supply
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And that supply lasts for a longer time. While corn blooms only for a few days, runner beans bloom later and longer than corn.
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Farmer Friedrich-Wilhelm Klopp (right) is satisfied with this mixed crop cultivation and the resulting benefits for his farm.