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Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)
Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants

Prof. Dr. Jens Karl Wegener

Messeweg 11/12
38104 Braunschweig, Germany

Jana Bartels
Tel: +49 (0)3946 47 6701
Fax: +49 (0)3946 47 6702
E-mail: at@  julius-kuehn.  de

Institute booklet

Alternative plant protection techniques

Alternative or chemical-free plant protection techniques eliminate the potential risks associated with the use of chemical agents.  In some fields of application, the use of chemical plant protection products is already generally banned. Alternatively, thermally or mechanically operating equipments are commonly accepted today. These are labor- and cost-intensive compared to chemical plant protection. The Institute tries to optimize these techniques and also seeks for alternative solutions.

Since chemical plant protection is highly effective in terms of labor, its use increased in the past. This applies especially to herbicide applications for weed control. Hence the number of herbicide resistant weeds did increase. Furthermore the National Action Plan on Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products (NAP) demands to minimize the risk potential for users, consumers and the environment.

Balancing between benefit and risk of chemical plant protection led, for instance, to a general prohibition of its use in the field of application on  pavements  in some federal states in Germany. Some other sectors like organic farming generally dispense with the use of chemical plant protection. Hence alternative plant protection techniques and concepts are in great demand in many sectors.

However, alternative plant protection techniques  so far achieve lower efficiency levels and cause higher labor costs. The Institute is working on optimizing these techniques.

Important topics in this field of activity

Scientists working in this field