Corteva Agriscience launches ‘Innovation Farms’ in Germany
It aims at promoting soil health and biodiversity in the field, reducing emissions and preserving ecosystem services,
Corteva Agriscience has announced the launch of its first ‘Innovation Farms’ in Germany to find sustainable solutions to challenges facing many farms in the country and beyond.
Corteva will support two pilot farms, Uherek in Gröbitz, Saxony-Anhalt, and Redeker in Pattensen, Lower Saxony, in promoting soil health and biodiversity in the field, reducing emissions and preserving ecosystem services, while at the same time ensuring profitability and stabilizing yields.
The initiative comes as part of Corteva’s 2030 sustainability strategy. The company’s 14 goals, to be achieved over the next 10 years, are built around four key pillars: goals to benefit farmers; goals to benefit the land; goals to benefit communities and goals for the company's operations.
Rudolf Fuchs, Corteva Agriscience Country Leader in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, said: “The innovation farms set up in Germany are the first in Europe and thus an important step towards putting the global strategy into practice here in the region.”
Melanie Hauer-Jákli, Field Agronomist at Corteva, and Andreas Schumacher, Country Sales Manager Crop Protection, both responsible for the Innovation Farms project added: “The long-term project aims at harmonizing ecological, economic and social aspects in a holistic way. While the measures are tailored to the individual farms, they will also provide best practice examples for many other farms facing similar challenges.”
Corteva Innovation Farms serve as testing grounds for enterprise-wide solutions, testing a broad spectrum of innovative measures such as mixed cultures and night sowing to the use of digital tools including application maps and drones.
The Uherek farm in Saxony-Anhalt is a 300-hectare family farm which grows winter durum, winter wheat, winter oilseed rape, sugar beet, corn, soy, sunflower and barley. Explaining why he chose to participate in the project, farmer Florian Uherek said: “The increasing drought in particular presents us with major challenges, but the social pressure on us farmers is also growing.”
On his farms in Lower Saxony Christian Redeker cultivates winter wheat, sugar beet, silage corn, winter oilseed rape and marker peas on 500 hectares. The farmer is trying to promote insect and species protection through measures such as sowing special flowering mixtures. One focus is to test sustainable, efficient methods of weed control, for example against foxtail.Two livestock farms will be added to the existing Innovation Farm program next year.