Dr Markus Demmel, deputy director at the Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Animal Husbandry, Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture, Freising and the chairman of the AGRITECHNICA Innovation Commission, speaks about AGRITECHNICA Innovations, transformation of agriculture and the direction of agricultural technology
For AGRITECHNICA 2022, 164 exhibitors had submitted their trade fair innovations for an Innovation Award. How many medals have you awarded this time and what do you think are the most important innovation drivers?
Dr Demmel: The Innovation Commission this year, consists of 36 members, who are representatives from science and research, consultants and professional farmers. The jury has selected one gold and 16 silver medals. One of the main drivers of innovation is the change in the demands on agriculture. These are no longer just about increasing the performance and quality of working methods, but increasingly about the contribution of technology to sustainable agricultural production.
What role do aspects like workload reduction and reduced complexity play in the further development of agricultural technology today?
Dr Demmel: These classical criteria listed continue to be very important as they influence the daily work and economic success on the farms.
What about efficiency, fuel consumption and increased productivity?
Dr Demmel: The research and development of agricultural machinery manufacturers continue to focus on these aspects. But today they are all increasingly focusing on the complete working process, its optimisation and the contribution that a new machine or an improved implement can make to it. Efficiency and productivity play a role but are no longer the only ones. In addition, other aspects are becoming more and more important.
Do you mean topics like soil protection, catch crops, precision sowing, less chemical and more mechanical crop protection, as well as straw distribution on combine harvesters?
Dr Demmel: In the future, agricultural innovation will be increasingly measured by its contribution to the well-known sustainability goals, to which agriculture has also committed itself. The topics you mentioned are related to this. But we will have to go further, for example, to the contribution of agricultural technology to the preservation or enhancement of biodiversity.