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vor 1 Jahr

FELD 01/2022

  • Text
  • Articifial intelligence
  • Precision farming
  • Intensification
  • Patchcrop
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate
  • Agriculture
  • Farmers
  • Ecosystem
  • Zalf
  • Researchers
  • Sustainable
  • Landscape
  • Soil
  • Agricultural
Small squares instead of large fields: Together with a real farm, a research team is testing an unusual cropping system in the patchCROP landscape laboratory. // ZALF researchers are developing agricultural strategies to explicitly promote valuable ecosystem services like fertile soils and clean drinking water. // Striving for a resource-efficient agriculture without yield losses, more and more farmers are implementing measures of sustainable intensification on their farms. // Using precision farming to detect pest outbreaks and predict climate change effects: artificial intelligence holds great potential for agriculture.

Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem Services Ecosystem Services CROP CULTIVATION PATTERNS WILL CHANGE The work of geographer Claudia Bethwell, a member of the working group »Provisioning of Biodiversity in Agricultural Systems« at ZALF, also builds on this knowledge. Agriculture is particularly dependent on functioning ecosystems and, in turn, has an enormous influence on soil, water, climate and biodiversity. Just how the soil is cultivated, which crops are grown, or what distance is maintained between fields and water bodies — all of these factors have an effect on element and nutrient cycling as well as habitat quality. Claudia Bethwell researches which agricultural practices enhance ecosystem services and biodiversity and which impair them. The researcher uses cropping data from farms in case study regions in Germany and Europe, combined with additional data on soil types, biotopes and water bodies. With the help of indicators and computer models, Claudia Bethwell can thus derive the status quo of ecosystem services and biodiversity, and also apply it to future scenarios. In the »OptAKlim« project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), she and her project partners are trying to find out how agricultural yields in selected case study regions in Germany will change in response to global warming and increasing drought, and how agriculture can adapt to these developments. Which crops will still be profitable in the future? In addition to the economic effects, the researchers also focus on ecological aspects — a special feature of the project. What are the effects of different cropping strategies not only on crop yield, but also on individual ecosystem services and biodiversity? TAILORED TO THE REGION In the project, for example, specific recommendations for farmers are to be developed. »There is no cure-all«, emphasizes Claudia Bethwell. Her model regions in northern, eastern and southern Germany differ in terms of soil quality and climate. »One has to design tailored measures for each region and then search for their optimal combination to protect and promote ecosystem services«, underlines the scientist. In regional workshops, the researchers also engage in dialogue with stakeholders from the agricultural sector and jointly determine which measures make most sense in the respective regional context. The type of soil cultivation or fertilization has an influence on ecosystem services such as soil fertility or groundwater quality. Flowering strips or hedges located along field edges create habitats for animals and wild herbs. Researcher Claudia Bethwell investigates which agricultural practices positively and negatively affect ecosystem services and biodiversity. 16 17

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