BASF gathered experts from six European countries to advance the knowledge of best farming practices and spread them across key stakeholder groups. The conference is part of the Farm Network's activites, a partnership by BASF, to foster programs that balance farm production with the protection of the land and the environment for generations to come. By developing practical and locally adaptable measures for modern commercial farms, the Farm Network has helped growers to enhance diversity of species like birds and insects in their fields while managing water and soil use in a sustainable way.
"BASF is a strong supporter of partnerships like the Farm Nework. Similar to chemistry, partnerships are about creating the right bonds to shape the future ahead," explained Vincent Gros, Senior Vice President, BASF Crop Protection Europe, CIS, Central Asia, Africa and Middle East. The conference was attended by professional farmers, organizations for nature conservation, universities, BASF experts and other providers of farm innovations. "We gathered experts with different backgrounds to discuss a crucial challenge for farmers and also society: How modern agriculture can contribute to a thriving environment," explained Gros.
One example of a widely used measure promoted by the experts of the Farm Network is the planting of annual or perennial plants in the margins of fields to safeguard beneficial insects. The experts can give specific seeding and mowing recommendations that will ensure year-round flowering, all based on tailor-made analysis and local conditions. "These relevant results pushed us to a new target: Until 2020, we will grow the Farm Network from being European to become a global platform," concluded Gros.
The conference took place in Bad Dürkeim, Germany, from November 23 to 24. At the event, participants from Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the UK, exchanged the results of their studies and developed recommendations for biodiversity and resource protection in European farms. These measures include adjusting agronomic activities inside the fields, improving the off-field habitat quality and finding new ways to promote the adoption of best practices.
More about the Farm Network, a partnership by BASF
The Farm Network partners focus on enhancing biodiversity as well as responsible water and soil managerment in commercial agriculture. The Farm Network in Europe was founded in 2002 and includes farms in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and UK. It is a group of 15 independent farms working for sustainable farming together with over 30 local experts: professional farmers, organizations for nature conservation, universities, BASF and further providers of farm innovations.