GPS in agriculture? The layman is amazed and thinks to himself: this had to be looked at more closely. According to the program, baywa's first practical dialogue field day offers an opportunity to do just that on the practical fields between buttenheim and seigendorf, directly on the state highway. This is where hans koch buries his guests, about 300 farmers from all over upper and central franconia.
The company cultivates seven hectares of land here for demonstration purposes, more than 60 different plant varieties, ten crops. "On one of frankens most difficult sites", hans koch "because the soil up here, unlike in the regnitz meadows, is not fertile loss."
Nevertheless, they have chosen these flat areas as practice fields in order to prove how much the right choice of "the basics, i.E. Plant variety, soil cultivation and nutrient supply" can make constitutes.
Hans koch summarizes the intention of the practice fields and the the participants summed up the first practical dialogue field day as follows: "A farmer can't spend a lot of time thinking or trying things out. When the weather is right, he has to go out and see to it that he cultivates his fields. Here he can see the direct comparison between different varieties, soil cultivation methods, manure and so on, without having to try it out himself."
"Very willing to innovate"
The farmers present don't need to be told twice and examine plants, seeds and also the latest tractors, which are explained by hans koch and his colleagues, without many words but very professionally. "Very willing to innovate" are most farmers today, praises koch. At the same time, however, there is also a lively exchange of knowledge: "I'm currently learning an incredible amount from people between the ages of 75 and 80, the expert admits.
Because knowledge of which crop rotation is good for the soil was ubiquitous in the past, but is scarce in many places today among the younger generation. Which was also due to the manure prices of the 1960s and 1970s: the more favorable the manure, the less care was taken not to deplete the soil too much by growing grain and fodder.
It is in this context that the GPS finally comes into play. However, there is still no trace of corresponding advice on positioning. No wonder, because, as hans koch explains with a laugh, "GPS doesn't stand for the global positioning system in our country – it's the abbreviation for 'whole plant silage'!"
And as such, it offers a good alternative to corn cultivation: whereas after the cultivation of corn or even rapeseed, the soil first needs 20 to 22 months to grow pests – bacteria, for example – to reduce the number of plants, so that after the GPS harvest, hulse crops or waterleaf plants can be sown again immediately. These in turn act as natural fertilizers.
Between buttenheim and seigendorf, as in most german GPS fields, a rye mixture is cultivated that combines the advantages of different rye varieties in one field. The harvested plants can then be used to generate energy in biogas plants. But hans koch no longer has to explain this to the majority of his visitors.