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Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)
Federal Research Centre
for Cultivated Plants

Prof. Dr. Jörg Michael Greef and
Prof. Dr. Dr. Ewald Schnug

Bundesallee 58
38116 Braunschweig, Germany

Office (Building Soil Science)
Ms Sabine Wichmann and
Ms Angelika Kunde
Tel: +49(0)531 596-2102/-2104/-2105
Fax: +49(0)531 596-2199
pb@  julius-kuehn.  de

Office (Building Crop Science)
Ms Sigrid Ehlers and
Ms Angelika Dölle
Tel: +49(0)531 596-2302/-2303
Fax: +49(0)531 596-2399
pb@  julius-kuehn.  de

Institute booklet

Sustainable plant production systems

Sustainable plant production systems are the basis for an efficient and resource preserving agriculture. It has to ensure the economic principals of agricultural businesses and concurrently maintain or even improve soil fertility. These research tasks prove to be more and more complex given the new and manifold demands in plant products (food, feed, raw material, energy).

In accordance to the objectives of the European Union, the Federal Republic of Germany aims to further increase the share of renewable energy in total energy consumption. Agriculture shall contribute to the exit from nuclear and fossil-fuel energy. This requires the expansion of plant production systems towards an increased cultivation of energy crops. However, the increasing acreage of maize for biogas production negatively affects the soil humus balance, soil structure and biodiversity. Additionally, soil erosion is enhanced, the infiltration capacity of soils reduced and the prevalence of plant pathogens encouraged. The alternative cultivation of new energy crops such as Mixed Silphie (Silphium perfoliatum) may reduce these problems and essentially contribute to the preservation of the resource “soil” and biodiversity.

The research activities of the institute contribute to the definition and continuous advancement of the “rules of good farming practice”. An intensive agriculture with an efficient land management requires principles that are locally adapted to site conditions, thereby maintaining soil fertility, and restricting the application of fertilizer and crop protection measures to the specific demand. Such a sustainable plant production ensures the continuous supply with safe and healthy food and feed.