Nearly half of the German national territory is used agriculturally (16.7 of 35.7 million hectares; 46.7%). The utilized agricultural area can be divided in 71% farmland, 27.8% permanent grassland (for animal feed and grazing) and 1.2% permanent crops (e.g. wine and fruit). Grain is cultivated on more than the half of the arable farm land (6.5 million hectares). The rest of the cultivated area is used predominantly for maize, canola, potatoes, sugar beet and vegetables.
The German agriculture is – as the agriculture in many other European countries – confronted with the challenge that the number of available pesticides is decreasing and will decrease even more during the next years. The sinking availability of pesticides will become noticeable especially at the cultivation of wheat, potatoes, cabbage and lettuce. The reason for this development is the regulation EC No. 1107/2009 which was enacted by the EU in 2009. This regulation includes stricter rules for the approval of new pesticides and for the extension of approvals of already approved pesticides. The shrinking agriculturally used area due to housing and infrastructure building measures displays another challenge for agriculture in Germany. Additionally, there is a growing competition regarding this arable area between the cultivation for the production of food or for the production of energy. Furthermore, the awareness of the German population is increasing regarding a sustainable cultivation (soil, ground water, air) and a healthy nutrition (organic food). Therewith, the farmers also are confronted with rising requirements of the end-consumers.
Therefore, the agricultural industry is more and more in search of alternative pesticides, new seeds (if not genetically modified), technologies and cropping systems in order to keep constant or even to increase the yields per hectare despite the sinking number of available approved pesticides. The search of alternatives is also intensified by a growing area of organic cultivation where the use of pesticides is prohibited.
Due to the rising pressure to have to find alternative solutions, chambers of agriculture, associations of farmers and single farmers are very willing to provide market information, to provide an insight in their cultivation, to give feedback and to test new solutions during and after R&D phase.
These developments can be expected not only in Germany or Europe but also worldwide due to the worldwide growth of population. This would lead to an expected worldwide increase of the market for innovative cultivation methods and technologies.
For more information, please contact Mr. Arne Lüders (email@example.com) in our Hamburg-office.