New agricultural techniques reduce soil erosion by 95%


Trials by Bayer CropScience in Bilzen using special ploughs have been a success and will be presented to other farmers to protect against erosion

“Spectacular results”

Bayer CropScience has developed techniques to counteract the erosion of agricultural land. The results of trial projects demonstrate that the draining of water and mud can be reduced by up to 95%, VRT reports.

The erosion of agricultural lands reduces farmers’ profits, but it also causes mud streams that make streets dirty and means that remnants of crop protection products end up in sewers. For years, farmers and scientists have been trying to find solutions for these problems.

With farmers in Bilzen, Limburg, Bayer CropScience has now successfully tested new techniques. Special ploughs were used, with which the soil is lifted slightly but not turned around. Using this technique, less mud flows away. Another technique is the sowing of grass between crops like corn, with the grass holding back the water that would otherwise easily flow away.

“This all leads to spectacular results,” said Marc Sneyders, sustainable operations manager at Bayer CropScience. “We have determined up to 95% less erosion of the soil.”

The project will now be presented to other farmers who are dealing with erosion. “In this way, they will have the necessary techniques and materials when the government makes it obligatory to take measures against erosion,” said Sneyders.

Photo by Matthias Ripp

Flemish agriculture and horticulture

Flanders is an important global food exporter. The main agricultural activities differ from region to region – with pig, cow, vegetable and dairy-farming the most important. In recent years, the sector has been heavily affected by the economic downturn and falling global food prices.
Green - Organic farming accounts for just a fraction of Flemish agriculture, but the sector has slowly been growing in recent years.
Greenhouse - Flanders has been a trailblazer in mapping the carbon footprint of agriculture.
Forgotten - Flemish horticulture’s “Bel’Orta” label aims to promote lesser-known vegetables like parsnip, parsley root and kohlrabi.

percent of Belgium’s fruit harvest comes from Flanders

25 982

agriculture businesses in Flanders in 2011

51 530

people employed in Flemish agriculture and horticulture in 2011