Cash crop producers in Europe face challenges such as increasing resistance of grass weeds to active ingredients of chemical pesticides, increasing disease pressure due to narrow crop rotation with more winter-planted crops. Agriculture needs to regain more stability to secure yields. DLG-Agrifuture Insights shows the starting points of the cash cop producers.
For farmers in Germany, consistent field hygiene is the most important measure to keep crops healthy. More intensive stubble cultivation to improve the rot of crop residues is also an element of combating disease and pest pressure even before crops are established. For farmers in Germany, prevention is therefore of paramount importance. In addition, the expansion of crop rotation is another starting point for more than one in two cash crop producers surveyed in Germany. This is because the expansion with spring grain opens up a window of opportunity to carry out the two most important measures, field hygiene and stubble cultivation, consistently. Less in focus is the investment in more impact power to realize the most favorable points in time for sowing, fertilization and crop protection.
Cash crop producers in the UK, in particular, want to increase the organic mass in the soil in order to increase the water-binding capacity of the soils and prevent erosion. Extreme weather events of recent years, in which cash crop producers in Britain have experienced both extremely wet and (in 2018) extremely dry conditions, make arable farmers want to improve soil stability. The increase in the impact power of cash crop producers in the UK is also driven by extreme weather. Because wet conditions and drought make the optimal periods for soil processing, sowing, fertilization and crop protection becoming narrower. High impact power is the key to still being able to use the optimum periods for work.
For cash crop producers in the Netherlands, the most important measure is also to increase the organic mass of the soil for stabilization of agriculture in changing conditions related to resistances and changing climate conditions. For farmers in the Netherlands is spreading nutrients close to the roots also one of the most important starting point. Because of the problem of high nutrient losses in the regions with intensive animal husbandry, it is important to keep nutrient losses as low as possible. High priority is therefore the preferred positon of fertilizers at the "place of admission".
The results of the DLG-Agrifuture Insights survey show the different priorities for arable farmers in Europe in the development of cultivation processes. For farmers in Germany, for example, it is worth looking at other european countries, such as the Netherlands, in order to gather ideas for fertilization with low nutrient losses.