An important measure within the framework of the National Action Plan on the sustainable use of plant protection products is the introduction of new procedures of integrated plant protection into practice.
To this end the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) finances the pilot project "integrated plant protection demonstration farms".
The project also is a contribution towards supporting the national implementation of the directive 2009/128/EC regarding a framework for community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides. The directives demands from the Member States of the EC to establish the necessary conditions for the usage of integrated plant protection.
Contents of the project
Agricultural farms shall put the latest findings and plant protection procedures into practice within the meaning of integrated plant protection and thus demonstrate them to other farmers and consultants as well as to the public.
The basis for this is an excellent assistance and counseling of these farmers that exceed by far the usual extent. The plant protection experts from the state institutions of plant protection services as well as from the Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI) shall assist the demonstration farms intensively. The farms obtain information tailored to their need and a comprehensive support when introducing new procedures.
Information material, seminars and on-site demonstrations shall motivate other farms within the respective region to adopt the new procedures.
The project lasts from 2011 to 2018. It was launched in 2011 with 27 farms specialized in viticulture, fruit production or arable farming. In 2014 started a second phase of the project adding more demonstration farms and other areas of specialization like the cultivation of field vegetables and hops. The project peaked in 2014/15 with 66 participating farms distributed over ten federal states.
Coordination of the project
The JKI coordinates the overall network and the specific production sectors. In addition it supports the activities of the plant protection services of the Länder at which the farm consultants are established. The overall evaluation across the different farms, the transfer of knowledge and the public relation work falls on the JKI as a research institution. The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) is running the project.
The plant protection services of the German States (Länder) create an individual work schedule for each demonstration farm and adjust it – if need be – annually. Knowledge transfer and public relation work – farm seminars – are key measures. They are initiated by the plant protection services in cooperation with the demonstration farms.
The most important task of the Central Institution for Decision Support Systems in Crop Protection (ZEPP) is to support the plant protection services of the Länder regarding the farm-specific application of forecast models.
Workshop on IPM Demonstration Farms in EU Member States
Apart from Germany some other EU Member States have set up demonstration farms in order to demonstrate IPM measures and strategies. To exchange experiences regarding the implementation of demonstration farms a two-day joint international workshop took place in Bonn on the 24th & 25th of May 2016. The workshop was co-organized by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the European Commission DG SANTE and the ERA-NET "C-IPM".
Further information: Workshop on IPM Demonstration Farms in EU Member States