Resource-efficient Agriculture

Innovations for resource-saving agriculture

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

Challenges & goals

Climate change, a growing world population and the associated 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 unfold. 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 fertilisers, for example by strengthening the resistance of a plant, building 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 far as possible, against pathogens or pests. For many years now, we have also been carrying out low-input trials with maize, using greatly reduced quantities of nitrogen fertiliser, right through to no fertilisation. We select maize 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 - for example, methods that prevent the erosion of soil by wind and water and reduce the removal or leaching of nutrients. The so-called mulch sowing method has been predominantly tried and tested in Germany for the sowing of sugarbeet. With this method, unlike ploughing, the soil is not turned, yet achieves a yield level of the same or higher level than that with ploughing. 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 dealing increasingly with the importance and practical application of so-called biologicals, as an alternative or supplement to current standard treatment with chemical seed dressing products. This alternative is becoming more and more interesting as a greener, longer lasting and more sustainable effect is expected, compared to chemical seed dressing products. Chemical residue in the soil and unwanted side effects, such as with many chemical seed dressing products, are avoided. In the field of sugarbeet, initial market launch activities for stress-protecting biologicals are already under way in areas with marginal conditions (e.g. Eastern Europe).

  • People at KWS

    Our goal is: less pesticide, less fertiliser.

    Markus Molthan, Head of Agroservice sugarbeet Germany, Austria
    kws_markus_molthan_im_zuckerrueben_feld.jpg

Your contact

Picture of Wolf-Gebhard von der Wense
Wolf-Gebhard von der Wense
Interims Corporate Sustainability Manager
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