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    World of Farming

Trends and innovations in plant breeding

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“We need greater recognition for agriculture”

Soil with a high humus content is the key for healthy plants and a high yield. But it’s also an ideal carbon pool and contributes to climate protection. Anyone who builds up humus should be financially rewarded in the opinion of Rolf Sommer of the WWF. He’s a soils expert and knows about the challenges for the agricultural industry –and what farmers will need to change in the fields in the future.

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Sugarbeet harvest record despite drought year

A farmer with passion and an advisor with the best seeds – a successful duo, which brought in a record harvest for an eleventh-generation farm during the drought year of 2018.

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The best seeds help farmers succeed in the land of the gauchos

Nothing shapes life in Argentina as much as tango, soccer and beef. Luís Parra is a farmer and cattle breeder – not to mention a fan of River Plate, the arch-rivals of Boca Juniors. Alfonso Callegari is commercial director at KWS and a Boca Juniors fan. Even though they will never agree on soccer, Callegari and Parra are pulling together as business partners. Callegari is willing to go a long way for this to happen.

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China: How plant breeding is revolutionizing the corn harvest

High planting density, standing power in a difficult climate and smaller corn cobs: Plant breeding and the targeted use of seeds bring Chinese farmers a more bountiful harvest and make it possible for them to rely more heavily on the use of machines. And with that, the days of hard field work are over for many people.

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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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Battling the harmful Cercospora fungus with big data, light and artificial intelligence

The earlier Cercospora leaf spot is stopped, the fewer the losses that sugarbeet farmers will suffer. In the “DataPlant” project, three research institutions and companies are combining their farming and optics expertise in an effort to automatically spot the fungus at an early stage – with the help of light, sensors, weather data and artificial intelligence.

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Better yields thanks to satellites

Satellite images show precisely how much seed should be sown and where. This innovation helps farmers achieve higher yields – and Italy’s largest dairy farm already counts on it for sowing its corn.

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A field with a future: Artificial Intelligence for better seed

Artificial intelligence is gaining in importance in seed breeding. KWS is currently developing and conducting tests with a field robot in the U.S. to find out how plant traits can be identified automatically and precisely to support variety selection decisions and enable conclusions that will help improve yields and resistances in agricultural crops.

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The future of the potato is at stake: seed instead of a seed potato

Something truly big is at stake: the future of the potato. It’s one of the most important foods there is. Germans eat around 60 kilograms of them a year – and the Latvians even twice that.

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How farmers improve pig fattening with rye

Successful pig fattening and happy animals – Andreas von Felde believes they are not mutually exclusive goals. This Northern German farmer plants rye and uses it for feed. He needs less fertilizer, and a recent study backs him up.

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How KWS attenuates the appetite of birds for organic maize with plant extracts

Organic farming may not use artificial chemical agents against bird damage in freshly sown maize fields. Therefore, in the spring the animals sometimes pick whole freshly sown crops...

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"There are plant diseases that cannot be controlled with chemicals"

Bacteria, fungi, viruses: Plants are the target of countless attacks. The pathogens want to reproduce in the energy-rich leaves or fruits...

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Useful bacteria protect against pests and can increase the yield

Bacteria are the extremists among living things. They live in 100-degree hot water, in strong acids or in sulphurous sources of the deep sea...

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Potato seed instead of seed potatoes

KWS will continue to process the versatile potato in a breeding process, pursuing long-term goals: At the end of the process, with the hybrid potato one can...

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Good maize yield despite less fertiliser – how does that work?

Germany has restricted the permissible amount of nitrogen in many fields with the new Fertiliser Ordinance. In many places, even less ...

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Resistance breeding for sugarbeets always needs a new ace up its sleeve

The small French town of Pithiviers south of Paris is notorious among the growers of sugarbeets. In the region, there are many and especially aggressive variants of the virus that is found in sugarbeets ...

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With the scanner, into the terra incognita: How do you watch roots grow?

How do you watch the roots of a sugarbeet at a depth of 1.50 meters grow? It's quite simple. You only need a giant drill, long Plexiglas tubes, a special scanner, a lot of software to...

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Stephan Krings
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