1. ONE STEP AHEAD WITH SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE HOF TEN BOSCH BELGIUM
2. “Farming is a challenging job. We work to produce food, seven days a week, 365 days a year. On 140 hectares we grow potatoes for the potato crisps industry along with wheat, corn, sugar beets and rapeseed. We also cultivate pears on another three hectares, a portion of which we sell directly at the farm. We could not handle all of this if farming was not so close to our hearts. We have been running the Hof ten Bosch farm since 1980 but our family has owned this farm since 1890. Farming is in our genes. When we compare how we grow food to how our father and grandfather did, it is obvious that running a farm has changed in many ways. The various processes on our farm need to interact much more closely now, so time becomes a crucial factor. After the harvest, the process begins over again with soil culti - vation, sowing, fertilization, crop protection and then harvesting again. We have to cope with a strict regulatory framework and are obliged to keep records of everything we do. All in all, farming has become more complex. Today, we are not just farmers; we are agripreneurs. For us, farming is not only about earning a living. The challenge we face is to raise productivity and at the same time to maintain the fertility of our fields. This is how we understand sustainable farming. You may ask yourself why we decided to become ForwardFarmers in 2011. The answer is quite simple: Bayer supports us by providing innovative solutions, valuable services and cutting-edge technology for our farm, Hof ten Bosch, so that we can comply with the needs of the environment, society, con - sumers and nature and at the same time keep our farm profitable.” Jan and Josse Peeters, Hof ten Bosch “ WHY WE ARE FORWARD FARMERS ” 2 2
6. Flower strip Codling moth pheromone trap Bee hotel ... how many different bee pollinator species live around the globe? There are 30,000 different pollinator species. The largest bumble - bee in the world is the South American bombus dahlbomii which is four centimeters long. That is why locals call it the “flying mouse”. DID YOU KNOW... ? A B&B FOR BEES Wherever new agricultural land is created, natural habitats are lost. The area of arable land today covers about three percent of earth’s surface. However, this arable land is urgently needed to feed the growing world population. At Hof ten Bosch, the Peeters try to provide as much natural habitat as possible. It goes without saying that Jan and Josse Peeters follow the EU-guidance by dedicating five percent of their arable land to ecologically beneficial elements, also called ecological focus areas. According to Belgian legislation, a minimum of two measures are required to be carried out on each farm to increase biodiversity. But Jan and Josse Peeters go beyond that : • Mixed plant hedges act as a windshield for fruit crops and help prevent spray drift. • Flowering strips and mixed hedges en - sure that bee pollinators and beneficial insects have food throughout the year. • Nesting boxes are provided for small birds and resting places for predatory birds. • Insect traps are used to facilitate monitoring of pest levels. • Pheromone dispensers are installed to confuse breeding of fruit moths. • Bee hotels are established along the edges of the fields. As a result, biodiversity on the farm is increased and pest control is optimized through integrated pest management. The bee hotels are very well accepted by the pollinators. The Peeters also established three bee hives and were able to harvest ten kilograms of blossom honey in 2016. They filled it into little glasses and gave one as a gift to each visitor of their farm, Hof ten Bosch. Josse Peeters, Hof ten Bosch We are so pleased with our bees that we decided to set up more beehives. 10 11
4. Weather data is a must to make effective decisions. Precision equipment helps to manage inputs efficiently. The farm at Hof ten Bosch, grows premium potatoes for the crisp industry. To meet the requirements of the processing industry, the Peeters have to keep a close eye on many factors, such as soil fertility, water management and quality seed selection – in addition to smart weed, disease and pest control, the use of the optimal fertilizers and best handling practices for harvest and storage. WHAT IT TAKES TO GROW A #1 POTATO A healthy and vigorous crop assures quality yields. Josse Peeters, Hof ten Bosch Nowadays, consumers want a clean-looking potato, yellow on the inside, with flawless skin and an even shape. Moreover, the crisp industry requires potatoes that contain a high proportion of starch and low pro - portions of free sugars for optimal processing. Fertile soils with high water-holding capacity provide the basis for premium potatoes. Soil fertility is main - tained through a four-year crop rotation and the use of yellow mustard as a green manure crop to add and fix nutrients to the rooting zone. However, numerous external factors affect the crops’ health not only in the fields but also during storage, which can take up to eight months, not to mention pests and diseases such as aphids, Rhizoctonia or Phytophthora that pose a threat to yield performance in terms of quantity and quality. The Peeters have implemented a bundle of measures to minimize the risk of harvest losses. This begins with giving the crops a healthy start by protecting them from pests and diseases. However, this process does not end with harvesting. Best storage practices are critical in order to minimize losses. PRECISION FARMING – DECISION SUPPORT There are myriad tools on the market, but which ones are really effective? Precision farming is not just about collecting as much data as possible, it is about using the right data at the right time. Therefore, Jan and Josse Peeters have to find tools that really improve their decision making. The Peeters installed GPS on two tractors and set up a weather station on the farm, which sends out warning signals if weather conditions imply an increased risk for disease. As a result, they do not miss upcoming threats and spray against infectious agents only when truly necessary. The results speak for themselves. GPS-supported spraying and planting has enabled the Peeters to reduce the overlap by almost three percent which equals 44 fewer hectares of seeds, fertilizers and crop protection application and as well as fuel usage. We have to master a lot of challenges: changing weather conditions, yield killers like pests and diseases and soil erosion. Moreover, consumers are becoming more and more concerned about food security and the environment. But yes, in conjunction with Bayer ForwardFarming, we seek to address these concerns! ... that only the best potatoes are processed into salted crisps? People are picky about their snacks. Potato crisps are held to a high standard. Therefore, the Peeters work hard to ensure their potatoes are the right size, even and blemish-free. DID YOU KNOW... ? 7 6
9. Bayer AG Crop Science Division Alfred-Nobel-Straße 50 40789 Monheim am Rhein Germany www.forwardfarming.com www.cropscience.bayer.com firstname.lastname@example.org © 2017 Bayer CropScience S B S -17-10 0 6 CONTACT Dirk Baets Mobile: +32 475 49 23 35 E-mail: email@example.com Bayer CropScience SA-NV J.E. Mommaertslaan 14 1831 Diegem (Machelen) Belgium FARMER Hof ten Bosch Josse and Jan Peeters de Limburg Stirumlaan 66 3040 Huldenberg (Vlaams-Brabant) Belgium www.cropscience.bayer.be Follow us on Social Media: Or join the conversation on our website at: www.cropscience.bayer.com For further information visit our website: http://www.forwardfarming.com/ ! Bayer CropScience #ForwardFarming Bayer4Crops #ForwardFarming
7. SAFETY FIRST Farming that is safe for farmers, their employees and the environment is at the heart of sustainable agriculture. Ensuring the responsible handling and applica - tion of products is an essential part of farming safety. By partnering with Bayer, farmers are able to learn and adopt best practices to keep themselves safe and continue to produce healthy food. The Peeters brothers have always been very aware of their responsibility for the safety of their produce as well as for the well-being of the operator. So of course they follow the label instructions for the use of plant protection products meticulously. Additionally, wearing the proper personal protective clothing is an essential part of good agricultural practice. For farmer support, Bayer provides an online tool called BAYER DRESSCODE with infor - mation about personal protection. Bayer has also developed a new closed system device called easyFlow ™ that is being used on the farm. This device allows operators to measure and translocate crop protection products without being exposed to them. Dirk Baets, Bayer Belgium The right product at the right time – with the right protective clothing. PARTNERING TO MOVE FARMING FORWARD Bayer ForwardFarms are connected to a network of international and local coo peration partners. The importance of these partnerships is highlighted through our work with the University of Ghent in Belgium. Its scientists and Bayer have jointly launched the ForwardFarming Lecture Chair with two major focuses: precision farming and biodiversity. Weather, soil, plant variety, diseases, crop protection products – numerous factors affect the quality of the harvest and biodiversity. The chair aims to help farmers make the right choices for themselves and the environment by converting the latest scientific evidence into tangible recommendations. Why does the University of Ghent join such a collabora - tion? What are the benefits? The collaboration gives Ghent Uni - versity the possibility to implement its ground-breaking findings on an opera - tional farm. This means that our proposals for sustainable solutions must be ready for use and have an economical benefit. It will be a great learning opportunity for the farmer, but also for our scientists and students. What do you think about an initiative like Bayer ForwardFarming? Bayer ForwardFarming aims to increase the exchange of agricultural know-how, highlights improvements in sustainable agriculture and facilitates communication between farmers and other stakeholders. Ghent University supports that initiative and is pleased to contribute in settings where dialogue and independence of re - search is imperative. What is the partnership between you and Bayer ForwardFarming about? This endowed chair supports the com - mon goal of Ghent University and Bayer to make innovative research directly acces - sible for the farmer. Delivering knowledge in a proactive and constructive manner will increase the uptake of new sustainable alternatives by the farmer which will help him to meet the economical, ecological and social challenges of today’s agriculture. What is the University’s vision on sustainable agri- culture? How do you see agriculture in 2050? Meeting the global demand for food, fibre and fuel is a key challenge for agriculture in the twenty-first century. The Ghent Faculty of Bioscience Engineering investigates how to address this challenge by deve - loping an understanding of the complex biological, physical and social-economic factors that shape agricultural systems. Research includes soil science, genetics, cropping systems, environmental interac - tion, livestock production and economics applied to agriculture. We provide modern agricultural tools and technologies that help farmers to feed a growing population, and to look after our planet. Dean Prof. Marc Van Meirvenne easyFlow ™ transfer system Personal protective clothing 12 13
5. Phytobac basin with nozzle system Phytobac at Hof Ten Bosch Phytobac nozzle Phytobac basin with soil-straw mixture “ WE ARE BLESSED WITH GOOD SOI L ” “...and we want to keep it that way,” Jan Peeters says. “Therefore, we have to manage our sandy loam soil with care, especially in the hilly areas of our farm.” Josse Peeters, Hof ten Bosch One close neighbor of the farm said: “I look at my fields and yours... Can I use this machine too?” But in fact, the effect wasn’t just due to a machine. It was a bundle of measures that reduced erosion by 90 percent. Jan Peeters, Hof ten Bosch Water is vital to agriculture. And it is limited. This is why we have to handle it with great care. WATER: THE SOURCE OF ALL LIFE Water is one of our most valuable resources. In fact, only three percent of the earth’s water is fresh. Using and preserving it in a responsible manner is in the farmer’s and the environment’s best interest. Water is used on farms in many ways. In many regions, irrigation is essential to grow crops. Water is also used in other farm activities such as the cleaning of sprayers and other machinery . Sprayers have a number of sensitive parts that need to be well maintained. Washing the spraying equipment after use is therefore important. While doing so, traces of crop protection products can contaminate the rinsing water. But how do we keep the rinsing water from getting into the drainage? In 2012, the Peeters installed a bioreme - diation system called Phytobac ® to purify rinsing and washing water from treatment equipment. Phytobac ® is a simple way to prevent con - tamination of water bodies with washing water. For that the machinery is washed on a concrete platform where the waste water is collected in a waste water tank. It is then distributed via nozzles over a basin filled with a soil-straw substrate. Microorganisms in this soil-straw substrate biodegrade the residues then clean water evaporates. Normally, rainfall at Hof ten Bosch is quite moderate. But heavy downpours occur more and more frequently. The Peeters noticed with concern that this rain caused significant runoffs of sediment and loss of yields in the potato crops. Since 2012, they have started to tackle the challenge of erosion by setting up in-field trials with the instal - lation of perpendicular micro-dams as anti-erosion barriers. TANGIBLE RESULTS Since using this method, the Peeters brothers have seen increased water retention and a 90 percent reduction in surface erosion compared to untreated fields. The farm has also achieved an additional yield of about three tons per hectare – a 5 – 6 % percent increase. As a result of this success, the Peeters have decided to apply the micro-dam system across their entire potato acreage. ... why agriculture needs to become more sustainable and more effective? The world population will increase to 9.5 billion by 2050. Yet the amount of land available for farming will remain fixed . So, farmers need to increase productivity and manage land resources with care. DID YOU KNOW... ? ... that potato production requires relatively small amounts of water? Potatoes produce more food per unit of water than any other major crop and are up to seven times more efficient in using water than cereals. DID YOU KNOW... ? 8 9
8. C r o p P r o t e c t i o n P r o a c t i v e S t e w a r d s h i p S e e d s P a r t n e r s h i p s S e r v i c e s Integrated Crop Solutions SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN PRACTICE • Integrated crop solutions with high-quality seeds and crop protection products (chemical and biological) to protect the yield and quality of the agricultural produce. These solutions are backed by customized services ranging from agronomic support, field demonstrations, diagnostics and prediction tools to documentation. • Proactive stewardship to ensure product integrity, protect human health and preserve the environment. We offer farmers, retailers and distributors training to raise standards in the hand - ling and usage of crop protection products as well as to minimize any potential risks to human health and the environment. • Partnerships to enhance the quality of life for farmers, com - munities and society. Mutually beneficial partnerships include all players in the value chain and help leverage the potential for collaboration in modern agriculture. At Bayer ForwardFarms, farmers and Bayer experts demonstrate innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture that comprise three components: DIGITALISATION IN AGRICULTURE – A NEW TREND IMPROVING DECISION MAKING MOVING FORWARD WITH INNOVATION Among others, the Peeters rely on the following cutting edge and time-tested practices, to drive Hof ten Bosch forward : • Crop protection and integrated solutions that combine chemical and biological products to protect crop yield and quality. • Decision support tools that make use of the latest information on weather conditions, research findings, as well as disease and pest management to ensure that important decisions are met with all available data. • Cross-border techniques like planting and ridging, as well as new tools like anti-drift nozzles, which reduce surface erosion and drift. • GPS navigation in tractors which enable planting, fertilizing and spraying activities to realize a four percent savings in the use of fertilizers and crop protection products. These practices, in addition to other innovative developments like Phytobac technology (see page 9), represent significant steps toward driving agriculture forward. Taken together, these developments position farms like Hof ten Bosch as forerunners in sustainable, modern agriculture . The United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals specifically target sustainable food production as a goal for the coming years. Farms like Hof ten Bosch will be essential to meet this ambitious, but feasible goal. Bayer ForwardFarming is proud to partner with farms like Hof ten Bosch, which remain at the forefront of agricultural innovation. As long as there’s been agriculture, there’s been agricultural innovation. From crop rotations and field terracing to the invention of the tractor, innovations big and small have brought agriculture to where it is today. ForwardFarms like Hof ten Bosch are places where the best of modern, regional agricultural innovations are combined to ensure that a farm is positioned to thrive for generations to come. Through a combination of holistic, innovative farming practices, the Peeters have consistently produced impressive yields of 45-50 tons/ha of high quality potatoes year over year, while keeping on-farm storage losses to a minimum each month. Intelligent imaging Field evaluation with drone technology 14
3. THE FARM’S PROFILE History: Farmed by the Peeters family since 1890, owned by Jan and Josse Peeters since 1980 Location: Huldenberg, near Brussels, Belgium Farming Land: 100 hectares of own land + 40 hectares leased. Hilly area with a well drained and fertile sandy loam soil Crops: Potatoes, wheat, sugar beet, corn, rapeseed and pears Partners: Fruitful collaborations with both public institutions (University of Ghent, Vogelbescherming Vlaanderen) and private companies (PepsiCo, Beutech) 1 2 3 4 5 6 5 ... that growing potatoes is a highly efficient way to supply a growing world population with food? One hectare of potatoes can yield two to four times the food quantity of grain crops. Nowadays, more than a billion people worldwide eat potatoes. DID YOU KNOW... ? SUSTAINABLE FARMING AT HOF TEN BOSCH * 1 Seeds: Planting only certified seed potatoes 2 Crop protection: Combining chemical and biological products, beneficial insects, pheromones and mechanical and digital technologies in a sustainable manner 3 Precision farming: Using GPS and cutting-edge technologies to improve efficiency of applications 4 Decision support tools: Using state-of-the-art tools to monitor weather and soil conditions, to provide alerts about upcoming pests and diseases 5 Biodiversity: Creation of nesting places for birds and bees and flower strips 6 Water protection: Wastewater management and use of tools that minimize water contamination * The colour of number box relates to sustainable agriculture components mentioned on the last page under “Sustainable Agriculture in Practice” 4 5
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