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tv   Made in Germany  Deutsche Welle  June 7, 2019 5:30am-6:01am CEST

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still possible. here on this side of love really time to search the unknown place and find for the troops our. time to overcome boundaries. and connect the world to. come up to this time for putting w d w d is coming up ahead. for minds. agriculture is in crisis not just in many parts of africa which are prone to drought and land speculation ravaged by climate change soil degradation pesticides
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and insect death a lot of farm land is no longer able to bring forth the bounty once taken for granted from the united states to europe from africa to asia and australia there is trouble on the farm and if we want to continue having our daily bread we have to act now welcome to made now it's time to rethink the way we farm our land why because even in temperate climate zones like europe conditions are changing and they're changing fast in regions of germany for example the water table is falling and harvests are declining as a result adapting to the new conditions requires a willingness to explore new methods and take advantage of new opportunities when you crops no longer grow the way they used to it may be time to try something different. it's early in the morning and the brandenburg rangers are doing their rounds at the national parks outside berlin. they cover an
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area 10 times bigger than the german capital. until just a few years ago this was marshland and home to endangered frogs in cranes groundwater levels here are sinking in part due to rising temperatures which have increased by 1.3 degrees on average over the last 100 years this stream has completely dried up. normally the water would be 50 centimeters deep here in may it would reach 50 centimeters here on the staff gauge. or debt somewhat when da game and right now it's showing minus 12 centimeters way down there so. this is just one of hundreds of measuring stations. in the last 25 years groundwater levels in brandenburg have fallen by an average of 20 centimeters throughout the region there are many of these types of flu strains scattered across
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the countryside here they're designed to prevent flooding but that's not exactly a problem these days. there's nothing to regulate here is there there's no water we could do with a bit more it's been a very dry year. together with farmers they're developing a new water management strategy now they intend to use the slew system to stop the water flowing away the farmers need to ensure that water accumulates in col thousands really accept the fact that it was some years it'll be too wet in the meadows more or less flooded really. but we want to help conserve amphibians in cooperation with the rangers. and we'll also need the water at a later stage of feed for our animals who grazier on the meadow land. in 2018 meadows produced too little hay for to be as short as cattle and his we are also dropping ready they used to produce 900 tonnes in the past ready but it's meat
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is only a 3rd is high as it usually is this time of year and not just because of reduced rainfall. the extreme events where there's more extreme we can see that in autumn when we receive the fields there are such downpours that we have a problem with soil erosion by water. there are also more storms and floods in germany and then there were 10 years ago almost twice as many it's not just affecting crop farmers but foresters' to this clearing as a result of storm damage. may have been seeing more high winds bordering on storms. and in recent years in particular we've had a series of storms in short succession which have really taken a toll on our woodlands as you can see here. 30 percent of the timber harvested here last year was acquired simply due to sustained
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storm damage research is being conducted here in this 240 hectare forest dozens of pits have been dug to monitor soil quality and more secure levels. given we are blessed rainfall across germany as a whole for administrative or brandenburg we usually have an average of 500 liters per square metre a year last year however it was only 300 liters or 3 madonna's exactly the amount which also falls in the savannah grasslands of serengeti with severus and rhinos and elephants and now a forest in brandenburg us to cope with the same conditions. the trees are weekend because of the dry conditions. that makes them easy prey for pests such as pine bark beetles. well improved. on a large number of insects come across a weakened tree that tends to die off and that's when shown to be closely linked to
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the climate with diet temperatures and the associated low amounts of rainfall in. the past blighted trees had to be sold immediately in 201870 percent more timber ended up on the market than in an average year over abundance was not good for business. and food. off the mark as a result of the enormous amounts of spruce on the market prices 1st harvest and then half to gain. we've now reached price levels that are not even a quarter of what we would normally get him of course we don't know how this summer will be. higher average temperatures affect the water table to be replenished groundwater levels need more rain but there's no sign of that. so how are fruit farmers responding. to show it would also be left high and dry without
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preventative measures shorts produces fruit wines and juices with his produce and whiskey from his own grain. every day the sprinklers water all the fruit trees here. his family run business has invested in its own irrigation system at a cost of $50000.00 euros. for the last few years were so hot that nothing would grow without sprinklers last year for example when it was 30 degrees every day without irrigation it would be a drought and nothing at all would grow. they even have to water grain crops because of the dry weather they've now switched to an ancient type of rye it doesn't have such a high yield but it's more our magic and very heat resistant.
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this type of riser originally from the champagne region in france which store. and whatever else. or not we cultivated exclusively for a whiskey grain whiskey made with champagne right in midtown probably our. motto he no longer uses conventional tillage methods but just loosens the story otherwise the earth would just get washed away in a storm. farmers here all realize that they will have to learn how to adapt to the extreme weather. life on a farm can be tough long hours in all kinds of weather with no guarantee of profitable yields in return now some believe the better way to go is to just buy land and wait for its value to increase but of course that takes capital well there are plenty of wealthy people around and although they tend not to have any personal
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connection to the property their purchase these days farmable land is considered a particularly wise investment after all they'll never be a shortage of mouths to feed. farmland has become a coveted commodity for investors around the world. global acquisitions of farmland increased 5 fold between 20092014 then leveled off between 200-2014 an estimated 37000000 hectares of land were bought by foreign investors that's an area about the size of germany. the main targets of the investors is africa is accounts for more than half that area with asia in distant 2nd place. the demand for farmland is pushing up its price for example in germany it's doubled over the past decade on average one has now
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costs 22000 jurors. even while farming operations yield relatively modest profits some investors consider the ownership of the land a form of insurance against economic crises on the assumption that food production is always needed and that land and commodity prices could well growing it's. according to some studies the top foreign investors and prominent well quite come from the us malaysia singapore and the united arab emirates. foreign investors tend to promote non-organic and just real farming which tends to use lots of fertilizers to beast crop yields with last thing affects on the soil in germany for example nearly 20 percent of agricultural land is so polluted with fact realizes that the groundwater contains nitrate levels above the legal limits one way or another we all live off the land but the question is who owns it benefits
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and is it being well tended. now ok some individuals or funds investing in land do have noble motives like preserving nature and sustaining people's livelihoods but many are also just in it for the money often means exploiting the soil and sucking it dry in eastern germany about a quarter of farmland now belongs to agri businesses and investment firms they're not interested in organic or animal friendly farming they want to see yields from their investment as a result land prices are soaring and many farmers are really feeling squeezed out. this is agriculture on a whole other dimension. in eastern germany there are businesses that own 5000 hectares or more behind it are agricultural funds and large family holdings with headquarters in far off regions.
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line hard supports traditional farming and is worried he's an independent farmer and director of the brandenburg farmers association when he bought his land the prices were half of what they are now his land may be worth more now but it's getting difficult to buy new land and lease it. investors with no ties to the region are on a buying spree and that bothers him then they don't have a gun in the development began and actually worsen it with the financial crisis when investors bought land it drove the prices up in one way way at an advantage because the value of our assets increased but of course we don't want to sell our assets we want to keep farming here want to come again this fall i think i already have i have a tough years for my shows me a list of the investors names for each operation they receive millions of euros in
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e.u. subsidies. among them are investment funds international furniture retailers and family holding companies no one from the list once to comment on camera but one of them has told me that he owns 15000 hectors that are worth 170000000 euros. for him this real estate insecurity in case of another financial crisis in germany the vast tracts of land are located in the eastern part of the country but there are also similar tracts in poland and in the baltic countries. that's where communist collective farms like this one used to be.
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has also been offered good money for his 800 hector cattle farm. he himself took it over from a collective shortly after the collapse of communist east germany. as the it's one thing when we made an offer in 1902 to privatized this farm we had to show proof that we had agricultural technical training otherwise we would have got it. but today i don't need to tell you what counts only one thing counts what's that it's your money can you buy the farm or not busy. 25 percent of agricultural real estate in eastern germany is already in the hands of corporations and companies based elsewhere many farmers are very angry. because it always leads to people with no ties to the region taking over and services from somewhere else in germany coming in with contain this and technology and doing work there and that leaving again on
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the high has no connection at all to the people in the region. me out soon. mention in all your. large agricultural areas are currently seem as a low risk way to pad portfolios of multimillionaires it may be a solid investment against economic downturns for them but small scale farmers are increasingly being pushed out of business. and it's not only people that are finding themselves displaced other species from plants to insects are often driven from their habitats by aggressive agriculture moral cultures were once hailed as the future of agriculture promising to produce the boss yields but growing the same crop year after year as highly to trim until to the soil things like fertilizers and pesticides were meant to help solve the problem but instead today just created new ones in the long term monoculture farming has greatly succeeded in killing off wildlife today over a 1000000 species are in danger to including many kinds of beings luckily some
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entrepreneurs have come up with some clever business ideas to keep bees buzzing. there's buzzing then there's buzzing in the world of be the hero has learned to interpret hive noise the sound is a very interesting part of it is you can understand. and the activity of the hive you can understand what is the state of the of the queen if it's a new queen it's an old queen. bees get upset when their keepers make their presence felt so it's a good idea to leave them in peace for days on end but that too can be risky if the queen dies the whole colony can die. we have that this is our product it has sensors inside. multiple sensors and we just put it inside a hive in the main kong and it just we put it inside any 20 towards the hive 247
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then we take is there are we are close to the to the cloud and then to our resounds and we are able to understand what's going on in the hive. the sensors monitor the temperature and humidity sound and light. if there are any unusual changes in algorithm 6 to identify the cause some of the bees might be sick for example the system then alerts the bee keeper. as company b. sharing offers a different service i'm fine with the truth as it wasn't easy to win people over we were total strangers walking up to be keepers saying we want your b.s. many were skeptical. one beekeeper did let me take 100 of his our lives to this orchard in northern germany to pollinate apple trees there. are brokers hives and the associated logistics to farmers throughout germany it's his part in the battle
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against the colony collapse. farmers can report that pollination requirements on his website. an algorithm that matches the needs with available hives. disappointed owner ordered 100 hives the bees only show up if the conditions are right. the healing. has to sides are an issue which has to be addressed openly. so that means we've agreed to only use products that don't harm be. purely things which don't harm beneficial creatures and we've shifted some tasks to the evening hours so we don't hamper the beast activities $150.00 to. be populations worldwide have been devastated by of an encroachment epidemics and agricultural monocultures now companies like be hero in tel aviv are developing ways to counter a colony collapse the market. the pendency of beaches is huge we're talking about
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a 100 of of billions of dollars so that was genetically. change in order to not be dependent on people the nation actually can grow better if we put the bees in the field so saw is also a very interesting market for us and this is of course a huge market. here as technology is still in the pilot phase and hasn't reached northern germany yet here the sharing is not quite so high tech services cost for it from a percent of the starman 6000 euros a quarter of which goes to be sharing. we're very fortunate that our land is quite some way away from other orchards. so we decided to try out this pollination service. and i must say it's going very well. the
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travelling be spent 2 weeks here before they go home. so far all the bees have arrived and departed in good health. the sharing harnesses the resources of small scale beekeepers across germany to maintain and promote key services to farming. nobody's. no pollination. necessity as they say is the mother of invention and that holds true in the agricultural sector too farming is also facing a potential revolution as robots are being developed to take over many functions in the fields orchards and stables and while there's still a need for manual labor especially with livestock there's no denying that the digital age is already disrupting many aspects of agriculture turning farmers into tech savvy stewards of soil crop and beast let's take a look at this new age of farming.
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wants growing here we all carrots. here in this field a prototype is being tested the hope is that this technology will be able to combat weeds and improve harvests. i meet a robot that works for organic farmer trying to carstens. discovered a 5th of life become a visionary in this operation because i'm trying to foresee the problems we'll have in a decade and i'm doing my best to solve them through some of. the farmers already having problems finding enough employees to work his fields bonnie rob could solve this labor shortage by recognizing weeds and destroying them without relying on chemicals but the robot is still at the learning stage or the farmer has brought in
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i.t. experts to help bonnie robb has to be able to identify which plants are wanted and which ones aren't as forced or if. you can imagine drawing a picture with a green marker and a red marker and then we tell them that's a carrot and those are wheat and later we have pictures without anything and we tell the robot to find out where would you use the color red or grey doesn't and this is what you see in the end it examines all the images and says you're away it was. finished in report in a long time period with farming in my grandfather's day an enormous amount has changed the machinery is now semi autonomous guided by g.p.s. a farmer also has to be able to use digital technology to understand them and also want to use them. nowadays farmers also have to be engineers and software experts able to hook up heavy duty farm machinery to networks those networks collect and analyze data so. farmers can optimize the use of seeds and fertilizer it's
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providing a new line of business for agricultural machinery engineers. you for listening to sunday will have to feed 9 or 10000000000 people and that won't be possible with curry eels we have to become more efficient and we have to use our resources more wisely. research and practice are closely interlinked fuel efficiency tests for example are being conducted at the farm like i anchor himself learned his trade. his heavy machinery is connected to a network wherever possible with the help of the internet drivers must understand ever more challenging technology. this is the this is the route i have just programmed. the tractor follows that route there's no need to steer satellite maps help the machinery stay exactly on
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course but it also makes it possible to track an employees every move and spot every mistake digital technology is very useful for looking after the livestock to helping to boost profits feeding has long been automated banco says farmers should still visit their animals at least once a day. but does every farmer actually do that if a computer is able to start the feeding machine autonomous fleet. we currently have 2000 ok so feeding them by hand is inconceivable it's good to have fully automated feeding. followed the marketers find food. automation makes intensive livestock farming possible. back at the carrot field the vegetable crop is being separated from the weeds by hand at least it's environmentally friendly.
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the vehicle is powered by solar panels but it's difficult to find workers willing to pull up weeds for 8 hours when will this work be automated the organic farmer was hoping for speedy a progress. here's a new bus i've also got we know that in the long term we won't have these workers anymore so we need the technology to help keep the weeds on our fields in check both of them are crammed with to the people here there's a big demand for big visions of farming can benefit greatly from digitalisation. winds are calm as our dream is to come here with a small trailer open the door and then 100 drones fly out and around the field and doing everything automatically marty. so when will drones take on the difficult tasks how will farm jobs change and how many will remain what will digitalisation
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mean for food production and livestock farming. everything depends on the new technological possibilities and how we exploit them. welcome to the brave new world of farming and that wraps up this week's edition off mate if you want to find out more just go to our website follow us on facebook and twitter for me in the team in berlin thanks for keeping us company.
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