Bayer ForwardFarming, an initiative that works with independent farms around the world to help advance sustainable agriculture, has officially introduced its first partnership in the Netherlands. Het Groene Hart, in Abbenes, North Holland, is an independently owned farm that will work with Bayer and other partners to implement innovative agricultural practices.
The farm is run by sixth-generation farmer Jasper Roubos and produces potatoes, wheat, onions and sugar beets on 85 hectares of very fertile polder soil. Digital farming techniques, such as GPS informed precision spraying, operational safety procedures and biodiversity enhancement methods are all demonstrated on the farm. Such elements enable Roubos to take a holistic approach to sustainable farming.
“I decided to participate in the Bayer ForwardFarming program because I want to show that economic success can co-exist alongside an innovative and responsible environmental approach,” said Jasper Roubous, head farmer at Het Groene Hart. “I frequently have productive discussions with partners, community members and fellow farmers who visit and I’m able to implement new ideas that raise my farm’s sustainability to a higher level.”
With the ForwardFarming network, Bayer provides an opportunity for demonstration, dialog and collaboration through integrated crop solutions, proactive stewardship and partnerships.
“We have lively discussions and debates here among various stakeholders about new innovations and opportunities for local and global farms,” said Damien Viollet, head of Benelux Region for the Crop Science Division of Bayer. “Het Groene Hart serves as a representative role model for others in the area, and around the world.”
“We are very proud of the work that has already been accomplished at Het Groene Hart, and look forward to supporting the advancement of sustainable agriculture on this farm, and throughout our ForwardFarming network in years to come,” added Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and head of the Crop Science Division. Het Groene Hart is the fifth role-model farm in Bayer’s ForwardFarming network, which will be further expanded in Europe as well as in Latin America and North America.
The Netherlands: an important player in global agriculture
As the Netherlands is the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products after the United States, despite its small size, it is an optimal place to test efficiencies and environmentally sustainable practices that will help support a food system that faces a growing global demand.
The country hosted the Global Forum for Innovation in Agriculture this week in Utrecht. An event celebrating the official launch of Het Groene Hart as a Bayer ForwardFarm was the perfect way to close the week of discussions about sustainable practices spurred by new innovation and insights.