Deputy Director


Kerstin Martens
Institute of Farm Economics

Bundesallee 63
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5102
Fax: +49 531 596 5199

Regional research workshops for arable farming


Felderlandschaft mit Trecker und Bäumen (c) Thünen-Institut/Michael Welling
(© Thünen-Institut/Michael Welling)

Regional research workshops for sustainable arable farming

Crop farmers face major challenges: On the one hand, they are struggling with resistance problems, the loss of crop protection products and new fertilizer regulations; on the other hand with loss of species and loss of biodiversity in the agricultural landscape. This project investigates how farmers can deal constructively with these problems.

Background and Objective

How can cultivation systems be developed in a way that they have a positive impact on biodiversity? This is a question that concerns many conventional farmers. However, farmers or industry are not expected to implement the new systems successfully. Individual farmers lack the resources to introduce these and industry will primarily support wherever they can sell their products. Therefore, science must accompany agriculture in the introduction. This shall be done with the help of practical networks, so-called regional research workshops. We develop the concept for these in the course of this project.

Test results are already available on many individual questions of new cultivation systems. In this project, various systems such as extended crop rotations, more mechanical weed control, new technologies and other cropping structures such as stripe systems will be integrated into practical arable farming.

The partners in the regional research workshops develop ideas for new cultivation systems and will test them in practice in the following project.


As part of the project, we design regional research workshops. In these, researchers, consultants and farmers shall work together and integrate new elements into regional agriculture. Practicality and profitability are important aspects of these new operations.

First, we analyse and evaluate existing practical networks. This is necessary to be able to determine key parameters for the concept of regional research workshops. In addition to the content-related and organizational structure, the concept will consist of exemplary calculations of financial requirements. In the further course, a project plan will be made up, which shall result in a project application for the regional research workshops.

Data and Methods

We analyse existing practice networks based on the available literature and with the help of expert discussions. Furthermore, we will organize discussion workshops in which various questions about the research workshops will be discussed.

Our Research Questions

The following research questions describe central aspects of the project:

  • How should regional research workshops be organized so that farmers will take part in the long term?
  • What is the financial need for such research workshops and how can funding look like?
  • Who are possible partners for the implementation of the concept?
  • How can new cultivation systems be assessed with regard to their impact on biodiversity?
  • How can the results from the research workshops be implemented efficiently in agricultural practice?


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners


11.2019 - 11.2022

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing