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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.


Sustainable intensification Sustainable intensification The drained fens of the Rhinluch region in northern Brandenburg are often used as cattle pastures. In order to fix more carbon dioxide in the degraded peat soils and to restore the typical peatland flora and fauna, several initiatives are working on rewetting these fen areas in the long term. The researcher Meike Weltin held intensive workshops with farmers and used a questionnaire to collect data on the cultivation practices they use and plan to change. Together with the farms in the Rhinluch region, she sought to identify sustainable intensification measures with the potential of reconciling agriculture and landscape protection. LACKING DECISION SUPPORT In the Rhinluch casestudy region in northern Brandenburg, the researchers investigated the matter in even more depth. Together with farmers, they determined how sustainable intensification can be sensibly designed in this region characterized by peatlands. Due to drainage, many of the former fens are used as meadows and pastures, which are now home to cattle. There are small pumpkin fields, large grain fields, organic or conventional farms. »This area is in the political focus, because peatland protection is an important component of climate protection«, emphasizes Annette Piorr. Water management is therefore a major issue in the Rhinluch: Can the groundwater level be raised in some places while still allowing for agricultural use? »There are many innovative, entrepreneurial farmers who build new networks and are ready for change«, Annette Piorr observed. »Once people get started, they often expand their activities«, she describes. »And those who feel responsible for their region are more likely to take action«. Still, there was a lack of decision-making tools that list the consequences of specific measures for production costs, sales and the environment. Which rare bird or insect species can a planted hedge or flowering strip actually protect? At the same time, how do hedges and flowering strips affect soil quality and yield in adjacent fields? Knowing the detailed consequences makes it easier to decide for or against a specific measure. In landscape laboratories and field trials, scientists are collecting data in order to provide precisely this information in the future. 26 27

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