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Agriculture and forestry

Farming and plant protection are segments of agriculture and forestry an independent area.

Farming - a segment of agriculture

Agriculture involves all issues related to the production of food for humans and animals. Farming is the segment of agriculture that cultivates and farms fields to produce renewable raw materials. In addition to the targeted cultivation of crops, farming also involves maintenance and plant protection. Farming requires taking into account a wide variety of factors, such as managing fields with some degree of crop rotation. That means no field is cultivated with the same crop two years in a row. As a result, a variety of minerals are used, giving the soil time to regenerate. Plant protection is necessary in the farming industry in order to keep crops from withering and to protect them from pests and vermin. Shortly after the harvest, the soil is prepared for the next season. Farming, including plant protection, is often mentioned in the same breath as forestry, although this is inaccurate since forestry is an independent field.

Plant protection as an important element of farming

The term "plant protection" was used within the farming industry as early as 1890. Plant protection is described as all measures aimed at preventing the damage and diminishment of agricultural crop output. The German requirements relating to plant protection for the farming industry are outlined in the plant protection law . Plant protection may be carried out only by those with the proper training and those who adhere to the basic principles of integrated plant protection and protection of the ground water. Plant protection is one of the core elements of farming because it ensures a high-quality yield and healthy human nutrition. A special form of plant protection entails measures to combat birds that cause crop damage. Species that pose a threat to farming include blackbirds and starlings. This type of plant protection utilizes optical or acoustic measures to drive the birds off. The farming industry receives assistance with plant protection issues through special information sources and also via financial help. Without plant protection, the farming industry would be less productive.

Demarcation line between forestry and farming

Both forestry and farming involve the cultivation of renewable raw materials. The difference is that forestry is not focused on the financial aspect. Instead, the primary aim is the preservation and protection of the forests. Trees are thinned out when they are too close to other trees, when they die or if room for new plants must be made. Although forestry certainly has one eye on profits, the well-being of the forest is always the main objective. The importance of forestry and wood products is universally underestimated. Thanks to the forestry industry, we enjoy wood furniture, books and firewood. Forestry is a vital part of our lives, even if we don't actively participate. Forestry involves methodical work to keep forests alive. In Germany, there are three different forms of ownership: government, community and private. Despite the different forms, they all have to be managed with the principles of forestry in mind. Each German Bundesland (state) has enacted a state forestry law. The chief foresters are responsible for monitoring the implementation of the law. With the most forest acreage in Germany, Bavaria boasts the country's largest forestry operations.


The farming and plant protection industries contribute to a high quality of life and low product prices by maintaining the highest possible crop yield per field. While forestry places a high value on sustainability like farming and plant protection, the primary aim is still ensuring the health of the forests.

Agricultural and Forestry Science

This special field deals with the primary production of human and animal foodstuffs as well as renewable raw materials. Also addressed are issues related to habitats for flora and fauna, recreation or landscape and common use.

Among other subjects, reports are available on topics such as crop and plant management, ecological farming, horticulture, viticulture, forest management and agriculture.

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The farm of the future?

There's a new trend in agriculture called vertical farming. As humans learned to farm, we arranged plants outside in horizontal fields, and invented irrigation and fertilizer to grow bumper crops.

There's a new trend in agriculture called vertical farming. As humans learned to farm, we arranged plants outside in horizontal fields, and invented irrigation...

01.03.2017 | nachricht Read more

New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp

Waterhemp has been locked in an arms race with farmers for decades. Nearly every time farmers attack the weed with a new herbicide, waterhemp becomes resistant to it, reducing or eliminating the efficacy of the chemical. Some waterhemp populations have evolved resistance to multiple herbicides, making them incredibly difficult to kill.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that waterhemp can evolve resistance in at least two ways. In target-site resistance, a gene mutation changes the protein...

24.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production

MU scientists show that parasitic nematodes hijack vascular stem cell pathways to attack their hosts

Invisible to the naked eye, cyst nematodes are a major threat to agriculture, causing billions of dollars in global crop losses every year. A group of plant...

14.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

Important to maintain a diversity of habitats in the sea

Researchers from University of Gothenburg and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) show that both species diversity and habitat diversity are critical to understand the functioning of ecosystems.

Marine shallow-water environments, where this research was performed, are highly productive systems organized into distinct habitats. There are sandy beaches...

14.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

DFG-Project: Biodiversity, Interaction and Nitrogen Cycle in Grassland Soil

“BE-Cult” (Biodiversity Exploration by Cultivation) is a joint research initiative of ZALF and the Leibniz University of Hannover. The aim of the joint research project is to better understand nitrogen elimination (N-elimination) in grassland soils. The project launch at ZALF is planned for April 2017. There is a lack of international scientific knowledge on the topic, particularly on which microorganisms are present, how they act in the soil, and a basic understanding of connections and interactions that occur with plant physiology.

Most importantly, microorganisms are essential to understand the conversion of nitrate to ammonium. This process of the nitrogen cycle creates a soluble form...

31.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

Crop achilles' heel costs farmers 10 percent of potential yield

Scientists assumed leaves at the top of a plant would be the best at turning higher levels of light into carbohydrates--through the process of photosynthesis -- while the lower shaded leaves would be better at processing the low light levels that penetrate the plant's canopy of leaves. Turns out that in two of our most productive crops, these shaded leaves are less efficient than the top leaves, limiting yield.

These findings, published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, could help scientists further boost the yields of corn and Miscanthus, as well as other C4...

24.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

How much drought can a forest take?

Aerial tree mortality surveys show patterns of tree death during extreme drought

Why do some trees die in a drought and others don't? And how can we predict where trees are most likely to die in future droughts?

20.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

Purdue University researchers have developed a hydrogenation process that could solidify soybean oil for food processing without creating trans fats, which have been linked to heart disease and stroke.

Hydrogenation is a chemical process that transforms liquid vegetable oil to a solid or semisolid state - useful for creating food products like vegetable...

02.12.2016 | nachricht Read more

New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality

In recent years, massive losses of honey bee colonies have occurred during winter in Europe and North America. It could be shown that the Varroa mite and the deformed wing virus are the main factors responsible for the alarming bee mortality. Researchers from the Vetmeduni Vienna have succeeded for the first time in simulating the course of disease using artificial genetic material of the virus. The symptoms of the so-called mite disease were reproduced in the laboratory without mites by the injection of synthetic RNA. This enabled the prudent development of new strategies in order to protect the bee population in the future. The results were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The honey bee Apis mellifera plays an important role for the pollination of fruit and vegetable plants, besides its significance for the production of honey...

11.11.2016 | nachricht Read more

Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity

Scientists have conducted the first worldwide study of biodiversity and its impact on the productivity of forests. Data from more than 770,000 observation points from 44 countries were evaluated for this purpose. The samples included in the study comprised 8,700 species of trees from mangroves to trees in tropical rainforests, Central Europe, tundras, and dry savannas to populations in Mediterranean forests. The authors conclude that a decline in the number of species leads to massive cuts in the productivity of forests, whereas monocultures converted into mixed stands can yield significantly higher levels of timber growth.

The highest levels of biodiversity in the world are found in forests, but deforestation, forest degradation, and climate change are having a serious impact on...

14.10.2016 | nachricht Read more
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Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

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Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

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