Christine Brunel-Ligneau

How to Stay Ahead in Weed Control

If agriculture isn’t an important part of your job, you can close this webpage and not worry about it anymore. But if you keep an eye on your smartphone to check the weather conditions while drinking your morning coffee, are thinking ahead about your next field work/visit/trials/protocols or simply get the vibes when talking about agriculture, you may like to carefully consider this story.
View of the Hof Ten Bosch Farm in Belgium
View of the Hof Ten Bosch Farm in Belgium
The view of the Hof Ten Bosch Farm in Belgium

Farmers not only work hard; they are also entirely dedicated to agriculture. That makes them the perfect conversational partner for talking about the challenges of tomorrow’s world. As somebody who has been in the agriculture business for years and is fully convinced about the sound science behind our products and the pesticide regulatory systems, you may be feeling like me that everything is in place for the sustainable use of our solutions backed by a sound stewardship program.

But the fact is that many people are questioning the sustainability of agricultural production systems, and it is important to address their questions by building a bridge between the general public and the farming world. Sustainable agriculture is probably the common ground where we can establish a constructive dialog by simply educating each other, listening to everybody’s expectations, and by doing so develop common reference points in sustainable agriculture.

Christine Brunel-Ligneau
Christine Brunel-Ligneau
Christine Brunel-Ligneau,
Head of Sustainable Agriculture

Having farmers on the one side and an interested general public with many interesting and relevant questions on the other, we think it is our job as agronomists to build bridges to establish a dialog between the two parties. Our goal is to initiate an open conversation about technologies and practices in agriculture that contribute to sustainable production and have a reduced impact on the environment. For this reason, Bayer has set up an outstanding network of Forward Farms – independent farms established as knowledge platforms to demonstrate sustainable agriculture in practice. Have you visited a Forward Farm yet? There are 12 of them.

They offer 12 fantastic opportunities to enter into such a dialog and better understand what best farming practices truly mean. These platforms are extremely valuable because it is farmers who are leading the conversation. They are the ones who make an active choice of the tools and practices they are implementing on their farms and are therefore the best ones to talk to about these things. So, it is hardly surprising that when it comes down to weed control, either chemical or non-chemical, these farmers are leveraging on the unlimited possibilities in coming up with combinations of both! When interviewing farmers at the Forward Farms, I had a hard time summarizing what they were telling us about all the tactics they are using in weed control. You know that feeling when you have shortened a text and you’re afraid that you will omit the best part of the story? Yes? You’re not even close.

I am very proud to post today the result of an intense collaboration with Bayer Belgium’s Sustainability Team (a big thank-you to Marc Sneyders for your dedication), Dr. Harry Strek from the WRCC in Frankfurt, and Jan & Josse Peeters, the owners of Hof Ten Bosch farm in Huldenberg near Brussels. This is a very condensed but rich brochure explaining what Integrated Weed Management (IWM) is and containing detailed information about the practices implemented at the farm along with the reasons behind the chosen tactics. Whether you are interested in crop rotation, chemical practices, soil cultivation or cover crops, this brochure contains, at a glance, all you need to know about IWM in practice.

Enjoy your read and when you’re ready, go visit the farm!
Want to know more about IWM? Click here for more information.

Learn more about Bayer Forward Farms here.

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