Press Officer Agriculture and Exhibitions
Delegates to see live irrigation, tillage and crop-rotation trials – 650-hectare site dedicated to practical farming research – DLG farmer members involved in putting forward suggestions for trial projects
FRANKFURT/MAIN, Germany, July 13, 2016 – When the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) holds its Annual Congress in Bonn, Germany, 13-17 July 2017, delegates will have the opportunity to visit DLG’s International Crop Production Center (IPZ). Focusing on a range of trials including irrigation, tillage and crop rotation and fertilizer management, the more than 600-hectare, not-for-profit facility is driven by farmers’ requirement for knowledge, and especially for results that have practical and long-term applications.
Established by the DLG (German Agricultural Society) in 2010, the IPZ is situated at Bernburg-Strenzfeld, about 65 km north-west of Leipzig. Located in the rain shadow of the Harz region, it has an annual rainfall of 511 mm combined with good-quality black topsoil. The center supports the society’s non-profit goal, in place since the organization started in 1885, which is to share practical international agricultural knowledge in order to optimize and improve farming methods.
“When we set up the IPZ, our aim was to actively convert the valuable input from our members into practical research into specific areas of arable farming of interest to them,” the center’s head, Dr. Klaus Erdle, says. “The land area of over 600 hectares, with superior soil conditions, combined with agro-scientific institutions nearby provides the perfect ingredients for cultivation plot trials and machinery tests.
“A decade-long study looking for the ideal crop rotation combinations is just one research area that will provide farmers with useful knowledge. As well as improving soil structure, we are looking at the interplay between different crops and the effect that has on yields and crop health. Likewise, we are testing out different irrigation methods based on up-to-date drip irrigation.
“Another research project is using different tillage methods and comparing them to produce results that farmers can use in making appropriate cultivation and investment decisions,” Dr. Erdle adds.
The DLG, which has 27,000 farming members, supports 80 working committees that are made up of DLG farming members and companies, and are dedicated to specific topics. About 20 of these committees, which deal with subjects such as precision farming, crop nutrition and crop protection, are connected to the work carried out at the IPZ. Through these committees, practical suggestions from farmers are captured, evaluated with experts and some of these are then tested at the center. Examples of studies that originated from the committees include irrigation management and strategies for using phosphate fertilizers.
The IPZ also works with several international customers on research projects. One recent addition is Israeli company NETAFIM, and the center is currently testing its innovative drip irrigation system. Suitable for irrigation and fertigation (the delivery of liquid fertilisers), the system uses tubes placed 35cm under the soil to water and nourish crops. Yield, sensor control and overall technical feasibility are among the parameters being tested by the IPZ.
Many international delegations have also visited the IPZ in recent years, including several groups from China and visitors from Paraguay, the US, Mongolia, Japan and now the multicultural IFAJ delegation.
The center works with the Anhalt University of Applied Science, sector agriculture, in Bernburg-Strenzfeld. This relationship enables the scientific results from the IPZ to be transferred into academia, but it also ensures that complementary research is carried out by the two organizations.
In addition to conducting field trials and machinery tests, the IPZ site is ideally placed for hosting exhibitions, academic seminars and training. It has already hosted two DLG field exhibitions on a dedicated 40-hectare part of the site, and will provide the venue for the next DLG-Feldtage event in 2018.
About the DLG
DLG, the German Agricultural Society, is a not-for-profit organisation based in Frankfurt, Germany. One of its key objectives is to promote international agricultural knowledge across countries and the society organises a range of agricultural exhibitions throughout the world including Agritechnica, the largest agricultural exhibition of agri-machinery, and EuroTier, the leading exhibition in the world for livestock technology. A world-renowned and largest independent test centre also forms an important part of the DLG’s activities as well as a agriculture competence centre staffed by full-time experts. With subsidiaries in several agricultural countries, DLG has a large network of international farming experts. www.dlg.org
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