"The DLG has gone into detail, even very considerably", reports Sebastian Schauff. The 38 year old is the co-founder of ag.supply. The company, a start-up, is considered to be Europe's largest agricultural trading portal. But quantitative strength isn't everything - and that's why Schauff has decided to have the portal tested by the testing experts of the DLG. And of course this also includes a look into (technical) details, for example whether and how a seed recall would function.
Specifically expand networks
"We are certified", is meanwhile conspicuously present on the website of the trading portal. Or to put it very clearly: ag.supply has obtained the DLG certificate "Trusted AgriTrade Certified Online Shop". The seal is "an important signal" for customers, says Schauff. The young entrepreneur has already planned the next step and will be present in the DLG-AgrifutureLab with his start-up. The meeting point during the AGRITECHNICA trade fair in November 2019 is the new platform for international young entrepreneurs of the agricultural technology sector.
Schauff calls "New contacts and even better networking within the agricultural engineering community" a central reason why ag.supply is participating in the AgrifutureLab. In view of the global environment of the AGRITECHNICA, this claim is sure to be met. In the AgrifutureLab, agricultural engineering start-ups from around the world will show their innovations, creating a perfect combination: As the world's leading trade fair for agricultural machinery, the AGRITECHNICA, together with all international decision-makers of the industry, meets young up-and-coming companies. However, regardless of whether it's a start-up or a global player, contacts within the agricultural engineering sector are very important for both, but the user, i.e. the farmer, remains the decisive factor.
Agri-food sector is moving closer together
For start-ups based in Germany, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI) encourages participation in a joint stand. There, as in the AgrifutureLab and the related Start-Up Wall, it's a matter during the AGRITECHNICA from 12 to 18 November of the right people meeting each other. Young entrepreneurs with their specific innovations and experienced movers and shakers of the international agricultural technology scene form a network for the future of agriculture.
And what this looks like is described by the guiding theme of the AGRITECHNICA: "Global Farming - Local Responsibility". And for the specification to be realised, the agri-food sector must move (even) closer together. A professional impulse in this direction will be provided by the FOODnext conference as part of the AGRITECHNICA. The conference is the kick-off for a think-tank project with the objective of better networking corporate groups, medium-sized companies, innovators and research. The global network is intended to advance socially demanded and economically and ecologically required sustainability with increased efficiency along the value-added chain.
Innovations and investors
It is already becoming apparent that with AgrifutureLab an enormous new beginning is imminent when fresh ideas and investors come together. As a result, fascinating possibilities for crop production that are both resource-saving and highly productive are opening up for producers around the globe. The fact that digitalisation is contributing to this is indisputable. And that regardless of whether it's in actual production or through the exchange of projects by means of digital communication. In particular, start-ups with their conscious proximity to agricultural practice represent an important link in the innovation chain, as they can try out unconventional solutions without complicated internal coordination. The fun of thinking out of the box and the joy of experimentation are driving forces for progress - and thanks to infotainments as a mixture of knowledge and entertainment in the AgrifutureLab, they're not overlooked.
A positive atmosphere does not exclude professional work in start-ups. On the contrary. The movers and shakers at ag.supply have noticed what can go wrong when platforms like theirs don't work on mobile terminal devices, i.e. smart phones and the like, by trying things out before the launch. "We were amazed what that can look like", remembers Schauff and adds: "ag.supply runs problem-free on smart phones that - especially in agriculture - have developed into a central instrument for management and communication. 35 percent of our customers are mobile on the go.
What do farmers in rural Brandenburg and producers in northern Namibia have in common? One answer might be "A lot of sand in their soil". Which is true. The answer "Not a lot of water" would also be correct. However, what is true for globally networked agriculture as a whole particularly applies to both of these cases: while the challenges may bear some similarity, they can only be overcome locally. (A lack of) water is a prime example of this. [learn more]
The definition leaves no room for doubt: "Central basis of life for plants and directly or indirectly for human beings and animals." But it was clear even before the entry in the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia: the soil is the basis for everything. And the reason why it must be protected can already be derived from this realisation. One of the threats, if not the most important one, is erosion, i.e. the loss of fertile soil through wind or water. [learn more]
Human medicine shows the way. The times of "more helps more" are long gone, if they ever existed at all. It is no different with crop protection. Today, it is not unusual for many farmers to combine state-of-the-art active substances and traditional but optimised methods of weed and pest control - even on individual fields [learn more]
"It almost certainly won't be less work initially", says Prof. Patrick Ole Noack putting paid to any wishful thinking: the scientist refers to digital crop production, including instruments such as satellites and drones along with sensor systems, as "indication systems". [learn more]
The statistical data reveal an extensive spread, but one aspect appears to be certain: depending on region and type of culture, significant crop yields are lost after harvesting, particularly in regions with supply problems. These losses determine whether firms operate profitably and in many cases even whether people go hungry. [learn more]
Due to the fertiliser ordinance, the subject of "fertilisation" is more present than ever, and that far beyond the roundtables. Everyone is talking about it, but not everyone bases what they say on facts, and on a political level there are indications of further restrictions. [learn more]
For start-ups based in Germany, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI) encourages participation in a joint stand. There, as in the AgrifutureLab and the related Start-Up Wall, it's a matter during the AGRITECHNICA from 12 to 18 November of the right people meeting each other. [learn more]
Larger working widths, more powerful engines or greater throughput - quantitative growth was and is an important aspect in (agricultural) technology. And even if not everyone admits it: Besides the usefulness, it's also a matter of appreciation of the sheer size. Thomas Herlitzius and his team are taking a different route. [learn more]