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Munster Farmers Day discusses adaptation to climate change

Munster Farmers Day discusses adaptation to climate change

Status: 06/28/2023 11:28 AM

Heat, drought and extreme weather pose tough questions for agriculture. The effects of climate change is an important topic to discuss at Munster Farmers Day.

Milder winters, hotter summers and extreme weather events – climate change has long left its mark on farmer Benedict Schulze-Diekhoff’s fields. The 31-year-old has been working on his family’s farm in Münsterland for three years and feels firsthand the consequences of global warming: “We notice it above all in the cultivation of corn and grain. Our yields there have increased by up to 30 percent in recent years and have sunk.”

That’s why the Schulze-Dieckhoff family has taken measures: Before sowing, the fields are surveyed using modern computer and satellite technology. In this way, particularly fertile areas of the field can be identified. A modern in-ground drainage system ensures that water is locked into the ground and does not simply seep out.

However, these measures cannot fully compensate for crop failure. Therefore, Schultz-Diekhov calls for greater support from politicians: “We want to do a lot, but we cannot do it alone.”

Association calls for grants irrigation systems

How can farmers in this country adapt to climate change? This is also the question at this year’s Farmers’ Day under the theme “Creating Horizons – Building the Future”. Approximately 500 delegates from Münster Farmers’ Associations are expected to attend today. Tomorrow, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Füst and Federal Minister of Agriculture Cim Özdemir will be the guests.

In the lead-up to the event, Chief Farmer Joachim Rokwed made clear what he expected of the politicians. Among other things, Rockweed advocates for state support for new irrigation systems. This is the only way to guarantee “irreparable drought damage” in the long run.

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On the topic of environmental protection, the possible reduction in the use of pesticides will be discussed on Farmer’s Day, for example. In addition, it should be about increasing the use of solar energy systems in agricultural operations.

Criticism of animal welfare naming schemes

Chief Farmer Rockweed criticized the plans for the state’s animal husbandry motto. In mid-June, the Bundestag passed a five-stage animal welfare label law. However, this should initially only apply to supermarket ham.

On the other hand, the Farmers Association is pushing for expanded animal welfare labeling. In addition to supermarkets, the labeling obligation should also apply in gastronomic establishments such as canteens, according to Rukwied. In addition, a mandatory statement of origin and a specific timeline for when the label will also be extended to beef and poultry are required.

future Pig breeding Uncertain

Another major topic on Farmer’s Day is the future of pig farming in Germany. According to the Farmers Association, the number of pig farmers in this country has halved in the past 10 years. As a result, more meat will be imported from other countries that have poor animal welfare standards.

This is why the federal government has already promised farmers one billion euros if they convert their stables to higher animal husbandry standards. According to Chief Farmer Ruckwied, this can only be the first step: “It’s better than nothing, but very little.”