Zum Inhalt springen
Zur Hauptnavigation springen
Gehe zur Startseite des Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen.
Suche öffnen
Gehe zur Startseite des Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen.
Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen


Institute for Crop and Soil Science

Inhalt: Site-adapted Crop Production in Arable Farming and Grassland

Site-adapted, sustainable cropping systems are key factors for an economical, efficient and resource-efficient agriculture. Soil fertility and biodiversity have to be preserved or ideally improved in the long term.

Energy crops - alternatives to corn wanted

Our institute is looking for substitutes to corn in energy crop cultivation. Corn is currently the dominating plant in biogas production, but its cultivation has drawbacks on humus balance, soil structure and biodiversity. This together with its cultivation increases the risk of soil erosion, decreases infiltration capacity and allows plant pathogens to become established. Catch crops and mixed cropping, as well as alternative perennial energy crops like cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum), can protect soil and promote biodiversity through increased ground cover.

Fast-growing groves in agroforestry systems can also be used to produce biomass for energy use. The institute is studying such systems for productivity, economic efficiency and ecology. The combined cultivation of wood and arable crops generates new landscape elements and contributes to structural and genetic diversity. The tree lanes screen out wind, provide shade that reduces evaporation on the arable lanes, and thus help to stabilize yield in dry periods.

Evaluating ingredients accurately

Crop management strategies are driven by price and demand. For years, there have been discussions about appropriate quality assessment for wheat production. The high nitrogen input, which is currently necessary to achieve the crude protein content prescribed by trade standards, regularly comes under criticism.

Our institute is developing a rapid test that can be used to determine the baking quality of wheat using near-infrared spectroscopy. This should allow accurate evaluation of resource-efficient varieties that produce high baking volume while containing lower crude protein content and reward them fairly on the market.

Grassland production system

Grassland characterizes the German landscape with a share of almost 30% of agricultural land. Food and fodder are grown here, as well as biomass for energy use.

To improve grassland systems, we are examining how management of grassland affects the quality and quantity of biomass growth of different forage grasses. In addition to optimizing forage performance, our research focuses on biogas yield for alternative grassland usage. We are also studying the ecosystem services. Mixed cropping of pasture and legumes, for example, can optimize grassland performance. Mixtures of varying diversity are analyzed with regard to their yield stability, water use efficiency as well as nutritional compounds and adaptability to changing climatic conditions.