19.04.2024 GROWTH

GROWTH Convention on the future of agriculture at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences

On 11 April 2024, representatives from science, agriculture, companies and associations met at the INNOVATORIUM of the Coppenrath Innovation Center (CIC), Osnabrück, to discuss the agriculture of the future.

Eine große Gruppe sitzender Personen schaut zur Bühne mit fünf Personen. Darüber eine PowerPoint Eröffnungsfolie.
160 guests from agriculture, companies, associations and science attended the GROWTH Convention "Agriculture of tomorrow" at the Coppenrath Innovation Centre in Osnabrück. | Source: Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences

With the project GROWTH, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences (HS Osnabrück) is working together with the regional agricultural and food industry to tackle the major ecological, economic and social issues of the future. Accordingly, the GROWTH Convention with over 160 participants was dedicated to the topic of "Soil, plant, climate change: agriculture of tomorrow".

Keynote speaker Dr Theodor Friedrich (former FAO representative) saw the preservation of soil fertility as the most important component in tackling the ecological problems in agriculture. He argued in favour of keeping soil cultivation to a minimum and highlighted the possibilities of implementation in conventional and regenerative agriculture. In the subsequent fishbowl, farmers and agricultural machinery manufacturers discussed the practical implementation of the presented thesis against the background of their regional environments. They discussed soil cultivation in water protection areas and on organically farmed land in comparison to the use of herbicides on conventionally farmed land. The increased discharge of chemical pesticides and nutrients due to heavy tillage was also discussed.

Short presentations combined with small sessions encouraged participants to discuss specific ideas for agriculture. The short presentations covered such diverse topics as

 a) the mulching of soils,

 b) networking to accelerate agricultural change,

 c) NIRS measurement to support nutrient management,

d) different irrigation strategy,

 e) strip cropping to reduce the use of pesticides, and

 f) how agroforestry can succeed.

 The various sub-projects of the GROWTH project were presented in a poster exhibition. The entire event was used to provide food for thought for changes in agriculture.

GROWTH project website