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Certificate Course in Review Part 2

On 20.07. the 1st certificate course Precision Farming started with a total of 10 participants from 10 different farms. The training includes a total of 20 attendance days, theoretical and practical exercises on sowing, basic fertilization, N-fertilization and plant protection. It is rounded off with a technological project on labor costs. Each module is divided into four sections. These are the teaching of the basic agronomic relationships, the digital acquisition of data, the practical exercise to create a plan and the actual implementation in a field of a practical farm.

Day 5

Sowing grain

What external influences, such as the choice of the appropriate variety, the sowing times or the quantity, must be taken into account? Which key points, based on the state of scientific knowledge, can I adhere to? How does variable seeding of grain affect my yield and the quality of my harvest at best? These were all questions that needed to be discussed. Felix Schiller introduced the participants to possible digital determinants, such as soil zone and yield maps, relief and N uptake maps. The most important question was always highlighted: How does all the effort affect the end result especially my yield? The course participants were amazed that there are still no tested algorithms for sowing planning, nor statistically usable test results.

After the theoretical morning and the creation of a seed map for winter cereals, it was off to the field after noon. After all, what's the point of all that theory if it's not put into practice properly?! So the participants first visited the practical farm L&K Ludwig Koch in Lommatzsch, and then sowed wheat variably on a 130 ha field.

Factory tour L&K Ludwig Koch
Sowing cereals in practice

Day 6

Basic fertilization

Bright blue skies, boiling hot sun: perfect day for spreading lime. But before heading out into the beautiful countryside, the morning was devoted to theory. In order to show the participants the different options available for analyzing their own soil, discussions ranged from imperial soil estimation to yield maps and soil conductivity measurement. What advantages and disadvantages do the methods offer? Because who does not know it, the different pH-values and different soil groups are decisive for every further step. How to work efficiently with the data obtained and what possibilities arise in the preparation of a crop rotation fertilizer planning were discussed in detail and solidified with several practical examples.

Finally, the practical implementation of the Stefan Stelzmann farm in the agriPORT was viewed, analyzed and his approach to fertilizer planning discussed. And in order to also make the best possible use of the weather, lime was applied from this day directly afterwards on a 30 ha field.

Day 7 and 8

Basics of N fertilization and fall scan

What's the point of the autumn scan, anyway? Do you really have to go out into the field in the gray foggy weather and scan your own soil? These are questions that some people have certainly already asked themselves. In order to successfully introduce the practical day, a day packed with agronomic basics around the topic of N-fertilization was scheduled at the beginning.

The next morning, the participants were able to put their findings directly into practice on a rapeseed field and, together with Bodo Hanns, accompany the tractor including the N-sensor at work. The arc was then drawn again when spreading maps were subsequently calculated with the help of agriPORT and the data from the fall scan that had just been completed.

Day 9 and 10

Planning N fertilization in the 1st gift

How to implement the 1st N application in winter cereals and rapeseed was the focus of this institute day. Since a practical implementation was not possible this spring due to the weather conditions, the individual points were discussed theoretically. Bodo Hanns discussed with the participants the possibilities of variable N fertilization. On the agenda were topics such as needs-based nutrition, avoiding overfertilization, but also conditioning the stands for potentially possible dry periods.

Plant protection basics

Guest speaker Marcel Thieron, Managing Director of amagrar GmbH, provided the introduction to the agronomic basics of crop protection. Mr. Thieron is a specialist in early and accurate analyses for disease infestation and derived recommendations for the use of fungicides and growth regulators.

Herr Thieron beantwortete den Teilnehmern Fragen, wie: Wie kann Pflanzenschutzmittel auf der einen Seite reduziert, auf der anderen Seite aber die Effizienz dessen gesteigert werden, um am Ende den Ertrag zu erhöhen? Seine Vision ist Erträge zu sichern, die Wirtschaftlichkeit zu steigern und gleichzeitig die Umwelt zu schonen. Für ihn steht der Pflanzenschutz im Fokus der Arbeit auf dem Feld, aber auch im öffentlichen Interesse. Vereinbart werden müssen pflanzenbauliche Notwendigkeit mit ressourcenschonendem Handeln.

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