Marc Sneyders

A Sustainable Reality in a Virtual World

Back in 2011, I helped start the first-ever ForwardFarm operation at Hof ten Bosch, in Huldenberg, Belgium, with independent farmers and brothers Jan and Josse Peeters. They grow potatoes for the potato crisps industry along with wheat, corn, sugar beets and rapeseed on 140 hectares, as well as pears on another three hectares – a portion of which they sell directly at the farm. Jan and Josse themselves have been running Hof ten Bosch since 1980, but the farm has been in their family since 1890. For them, farming goes beyond simply “earning a living.” It’s been a source of pride for generations.
The new Hof ten Bosch virtual tour allows visitors to see sustainable agriculture in practice from anywhere in the world.
The new Hof ten Bosch virtual tour allows visitors to see sustainable agriculture in practice from anywhere in the world.
The new Hof ten Bosch virtual tour allows visitors to see sustainable agriculture in practice from anywhere in the world.

The challenge they face is similar to that of many farmers around the world: to increase productivity while maintaining the fertility of their fields and preserving the environment – this is how they understand sustainable farming. Bayer supports the Peeters’ efforts by providing innovative solutions, valuable services and cutting-edge technology for Hof ten Bosch, so that farmers can meet the needs of the environment, society, consumers and nature, while also keeping the farm profitable.

Since 2016, Hof ten Bosch has been home to not only an innovative farm, but also a training center for everything from professional certifications, such as phytosanitary license, to a hands-on educational center focused on pollinators that opened in 2018, showcasing biodiversity practices.

During spring and summer, the farm is visited daily by research centers, universities, politicians, food chain partners, farmers and others. We created a virtual tour because we want to reach even more people to demonstrate sustainable agriculture in practice. There is so much value in sharing what agriculture looks like today with a larger audience, bridging the gap between consumers and farms.

Marc Sneyders

I hope that anyone interested in agriculture will find inspiration in this virtual tour to think about how to make our food supply sustainable.

Marc Sneyders,
Head of Sustainable Operations at Bayer CropScience in Belgium

In keeping with the pioneering spirit that made Hof ten Bosch the ideal partner for the first ForwardFarm, we partnered with the Peeters brothers to create a 360° virtual tour of the farm. Now, just like during a real visit at the farm, the farmers welcome visitors from around the world who want to see and explore how modern agriculture looks and exists!

So what can users expect to see in the Hof ten Bosch 360° virtual tour?

During the tour, visitors are able to explore the farm cycles and activities behind high-quality crop production.
During the tour, visitors are able to explore the farm cycles and activities behind high-quality crop production.
During the tour, visitors are able to explore the farm cycles and activities behind high-quality crop production.

The virtual tour is made up of 10 stations around the farm and allows visitors to explore the farm cycles and activities behind high-quality crop production. All of the operations carried out on the farm are explained during the virtual visit: the cultivation and the storage of potatoes, activities in the orchard and the fields of maize, rapeseed and sugar beet. It also invites visitors to see the diverse efforts aimed at making agriculture sustainable including activities related to water protection, pollinator promotion and precision application. Additionally, one station is devoted to the actions visitors can undertake to stimulate biodiversity in and around a farm.

I hope that anyone interested in agriculture will find inspiration in this virtual tour and think about how to make our food supply more sustainable. In the future, we will be able to grow more food with less inputs – less water, fuel, fertilizers and plant protection products – thanks in part to innovative technologies. And that future starts with farms like Hof ten Bosch. Check out the virtual tour today!

Current Readers´ rating (7)
Comment
Thriving for Change - Championing Agriculture for a New Generation