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DLG Field Days 2012 the expected magnet for visitors

Overall satisfaction among exhibitors and visitors despite adverse weather conditions - 22,467 visitors at the site of the DLG International Crop Produc-tion Center in Bernburg-Strenzfeld - More than 2,000 international visitors

(DLG). The organizers and the exhibitors are altogether satisfied with the course and the results of this year’s DLG Field Days. The event that was held for the first time in the grounds of the DLG International Crop Production Center in Bernburg-Strenzfeld (Saxony-Anhalt) from 19 to 21 June 2012 once again provided an impressive picture of what modern plant production can achieve. It was organized by DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft – German Agricultural Society) in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment of the German State of Saxony-Anhalt and the key agricultural cooperative AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, as well as the expert partners Vereinigte Hagelversicherung VVaG (insurance company), Union zur Förderung der Oel- und Proteinpflanzen (UFOP - the association promoting the use of oil and protein plants), Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FNR - Federal Agency for Renewable Resources) and Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB). The atmosphere was charged with the keen demand for information displayed by the farmers. The plant production experts, who came from all parts of Germany, focused on all aspects of modern plant cropping, including varieties, soil health, plant protective agents and their active ingredients, automation in plant production and modern information technologies. At the DLG Field Days 2012 farmers were specifically seeking solutions to boost production efficiency and make full use of their site potentials.
 
The exhibition was clouded by heavy rain starting on the evening of the first day. Despite this, 22,467 highly qualified expert visitors made their way to Bernburg – the best result ever achieved by any DLG Field Days to date. The share of international visitors at nine percent was also higher than ever before and demonstrates the growing international character of the exhibition. With these results the DLG Field Days have impressively confirmed their rank as the top event for plant production in Germany and neighbouring countries.
 
The following preliminary conclusions can be drawn:
 
  1. The goal of the DLG Field Days 2012 was to provide farmers and all involved in plant production with a detailed and uniquely concentrated overview of the status and trends in modern plant production. The exhibits focused on new and proven varieties, as well as on seed and plant material for all major crop plants, fertilizing questions and plant protection matters. In addition the comparisons of European cropping methods for winter wheat and oilseed rape with participants from altogether eight different countries were a magnetic draw. 
  2. Altogether 104 companies and organizations presented a wide range of innovations and substantial amounts of guidance information on plant production on the 18 ha trial field. The field trial programme was complemented by 220 exhibitors on the 2 ha Campus area and by the machinery demonstration activities that were shown on a further 26 ha. The focus here was on questions of plant production management, and especially on Precision Farming. The weather prevented complete performance of the machinery demonstrations for sowing oilseed rape, precision fertilizing with mineral fertilizer spreaders, precision plant protection with field sprayers, and automated steering as well as headland management for tractors. Those demonstrations that were possible were watched by extremely interested audiences. 
  3. The high level of the technical programme met with great interest among farmers and their advisers. The event satisfied the high demand for understandable and transparent information on seed and varieties, plant protection and fertilizing, certain methods using agricultural machinery, yield-boosting and environmentally sound cropping, biomass cultivation for energy production and topical management issues: 88 % of the visitors assessed the DLG Field Days 2012 as very good and good. These figures result from a survey conducted by an impartial market research institute on the three DLG Field Days 2012.
  4. With 324 exhibitors from 15 countries, record participation was established. This is equivalent to an increase of six percent by comparison with 2010. As a further survey revealed, the exhibitors were altogether satisfied with the DLG Field Days 2012. Three quarters of them responded to question about the overall rating with a positive assessment. A quarter of the exhibitors were not satisfied, largely due to the poor condition of the tracks and the car park.
  5. This year’s Theme Centers – Energy from the Field, Sustainability, Genetically Engineered Crops and the Plant Protection meeting point aroused great interest among the visitors.
  6. DLG registered altogether 22,467 expert visitors. According to the results of the survey, more than one third of the visitors came from the Eastern part of Germany. However, the DLG Field Days 2012 were also an attractive destination for specialists from the West German states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein (18 percent), Bavaria (13 percent), Hesse/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland (10 percent), North Rhine/Westphalia (8 percent) and Baden-Wuerttemberg (7 percent).
  7. As expected, the DLG Field Days 2012 exerted a magnetic attraction on specialists in neighbouring countries too. Over 2,000 international expert visitors gathered information in the grounds of the DLG International Crop Production Center, with the largest contingents coming from Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Ukraine, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Estonia, Sweden and Bulgaria. Altogether DLG registered visitors from 25 different countries. This high share of international visitors has distinctly increased the international character of the DLG Field Days.
  8. The atmosphere at the DLG Field Days 2012 was marked by knowledgeable, concentrated discussions. The exhibitors praised the high technical expertise of the farmers. Three quarters of these came from farms with more than 100 ha, including over 3,700 farmers with more than 500 ha. Altogether the farmers at the DLG Field Days 2012 represented some 7.3 million hectares.
  9. Complementing the technical exhibits with forum events on topical issues packed into a short space of time once again proved successful. The response with over 2,000 listeners on the three event days documents that the themes selected struck a chord with the experts.
  10. The opening event, attended by guests such as Dr. Hermann Onko Aeikens, Minister of Agriculture and the Environment of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, was already a big success. At this event DLG once again presented the Wilhelm Rimpau Awards for three innovative and practice-driven degree theses on plant production. The award winners are Charlotte Hogrefe from University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg, Eiko Tjaden from the University of Göttingen and Sonja Eckard from the University of Constance and the Research Institute Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART (Switzerland). The welcome evening with words of greeting from Dr. Reiner Haseloff, Minister-President of the State of Saxony-Anhalt was equally attractive.
  11. Despite this, the extreme weather conditions clouded the positive overall results of the DLG Field Days 2012. The heavy rainfall posed challenges for both exhibitors and visitors, as well as for the organizer DLG, especially as regards the tracks and the car park. The measures planned and additionally taken by DLG were not able to bring conditions up to the customary standard for exhibitors and visitors. The experience gained in this connection and the suggestions and points of criticism from exhibitors and visitors will contribute to developing the concept of the DLG Field Days further.
  12. The next DLG Field Days will be held from 17 to 19 June 2014, again in the grounds of the DLG International Crop Production Center in Bernburg-Strenzfeld.

Contact:

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Friedrich W. Rach

f.rach(at)dlg.org 
(-202)
Press Officer Agriculture and Exhibitions

Malene Conlong

m.conlong(at)DLG.org 
(-237)
International media and communications manager