Press Officer Agriculture and Exhibitions
International wheat and oilseed rape professionals will compare their crop production skills at the DLG Feldtage
Frankfurt/Main, Germany, 8th April 2016 – Cropping strategies from agronomists based in eight European countries will be assessed at the renowned DLG Feldtage – this year being held at Mariaburghausen, Hassfurt, Lower Franconia, from 14 to 16 June. They will take part in the European Cropping Comparisons, which date back to the first DLG Feldtage held in 1988. The comparisons started with wheat and later oilseed rape was added.
The comparisons give visitors to the DLG Feldtage event the opportunity to learn more about arable farming strategies from other countries. The wheat and oilseed rape comparisons can be found in trial plots VA20 and VA21 respectively.
Crops from 19 teams of crop advisers and researchers from Sweden down to the Czech Republic will be compared as the participants demonstrate their special techniques under practical conditions. The results will be of particular interest to an expected 25,000 specialist visitors because this special DLG Feldtage feature compares the achievable margins for both crops, not just the yields. This brings capital and labor-saving systems into focus, including the cost-cutting possibilities of modern farming.
Oilseed rape cultivation today
Taking part in the oilseed rape growing comparisons are eight teams from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland and Sweden. All the teams have had their crops in the ground since the end of August.
The teams will be presenting methods to solve the environmental policy challenges that farmers are confronted with in oilseed rape cultivation today. Focal issues to be addressed are post-harvest nitrogen surplus and optimizing grain and oil yields. The final assessment of the methods will be carried out with the aid of a nitrogen balance, backed up by measurements of mineralized nitrogen in the soil (Nmin) directly before drilling, immediately after the harvest and once again in the late autumn in the succeeding crop.
Comparing their production techniques this year at the event site in Lower Franconia are 11 teams of wheat professionals from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland. The crop has been in the ground since October last year.
Each participant will be striving to achieve the best gross margins. In the experimental variant, the teams will be presenting what they consider to be appropriate crop husbandry. The varied design of the cropping methods – variety, drilling method, fertilizing, crop protection – corresponds to the diversity of market requirements.
Some participants will be trying to achieve additional yield potential through early drilling, a method practiced in many farms in the region. Points to consider are how participants handle the associated higher demands of the crop in terms of management and crop protection.
A unique presentation of crop production approaches
The wide diversity of crop production approaches that are possible guarantee a unique presentation and keen interest in the resulting final yields, quality and financial margins. Indeed, the only common factors between the plots are sowing time, soil conditions, insecticide and the weather – everything else from the seed varieties to the cultivation, drilling, fertilizing and crop protection strategies have been decided by the competitors.
Naturally, it will be interesting for visitors to see how each competitor copes with local conditions while attempting to reach their objectives. And during the three-day DLG Feldtage event, experts will be on hand to explain the strategies and discuss the expected results with visiting growers from all across Europe.
The highlight of the output from the comparisons is an analysis using costs and yield data that reflect arable conditions. Making this publicly available means it is possible to compare the results with the visitors’ own farming methods.
The full results, including details of the winner, are expected to be announced in October this year, when the harvest has been completed and the data fully analyzed.
The crop comparisons are organized by the DLG, a not-for-profit society. One of its key objectives is to promote international agricultural knowledge across nations, and the crop comparison is a good example of this activity.
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