Crop protection making a difference in Austria

Gottfried Bauer
Gottfried Bauer
Crop protection does make the difference, a recent posting Bayer CropScience's Magazine said.

Gottfried Bauer works as an adviser to the Zistersdorf producers’ cooperative (egz) and has tested how the growth of crops in Austria has been enhanced by crop protection solutions in 2013 and 2014.

Bauer’s brother Franz is the managing partner of egz. Working with egz’s Crop Protection Officer Reinhard Hemrich, he laid out test plots, each measuring about 90 square meters. Half of the plots were treated with crop protection products to protect against harmful insects, fungi and weeds. The other plots were left to grow unattended.

“As expected, there were very big yield differences,” Bayer Austria Marketing and Communications Director Rudolf Purkhauser said. Purkhauser also is a member of IGP (industry group for crop protection). “Not using crop protection at all led to an 86 percent decline in sugar beets.”

Insects, diseases and weeds also afflicted rye, winter durum, winter wheat, summer barley and sunflowers. Recordings from a field camera paint an impressive picture. While one field is full of golden yellow grain. The other is overgrown with weeds.

“To witness how the weeds thrived in the course of the year and eventually grew taller than the crops was really awe-inspiring,” Gottfried Bauer said. The results allow farmers to demonstrate the importance of crop protection products.

“To the egz, competitive farming is only possible and meaningful with modern crop management techniques,” Franz Bauer said.

He added that high harvest losses would decrease the region’s degree of self-sufficiency. In contrast, the Bauer brothers want to promote regional agriculture by underlining the importance of crop protection.

“For us, it’s about creating regional value and appreciating it – about making our farming truly observable,” Gottfried Bauer said.

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Bayer CropScience

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