Let us introduce you to our German team that is ready to welcome you to Agritechnica

Riccardo De Nadai
Communication Manager

xFarm Technologies, already very active in the main markets of Europe and Latin America, continues to grow and supports the work of more than 300,000 farms every day. Germany is one of the most interesting markets, a pillar of our continent's agriculture, leading in the production of potatoes, barley and wheat, for example. To strengthen its presence in Germany xFarm Technologies has appointed a brand new, dedicated team, headed by Ralf Huber. The team will make its debut at Agritechnica, the renowned agricultural trade fair in Hanover from November 12 to 18, where xFarm Technologies will present a wide range of innovative, reliable and efficient solutions for German farmers.

We had a chat with Ralf to get to know him better. Here is what he told us.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised near Freising in the north of Munich. I grew up on my family's organic farm, which used to focus on pig fattening, but now specializes in growing cereals and legumes, seed propagation and runs a grain warehouse with processing and drying facilities. I have done apprenticeships in wholesales and agriculture, which were fundamental experiences for my professional growth. As for free time, I have little of it... but I love spending it with my friends and family, preferably outdoors!

What are the strengths and weaknesses of German agriculture?

German farmers are (and have to be) very open to new technologies in order to compensate for very expensive labor. German agriculture in general is very innovation oriented. Like farmers in Spain, Italy and Switzerland (markets where xFarm Technologies has a strong presence), German farmers also are passionate about their daily work. Whether in Bavaria or in Lombardy, in Ticino or in Andalusia, our farmers will have to answer the call for more transparency and sustainability in agriculture and give consumers an insight into their valuable work and products.

What do you see as the main challenges for German agriculture?

Good question. Well, actually there are several challenges. As I said, the cost of production in Germany is very high due to significant energy costs, labor costs and – in some regions – ever increasing land prices. Society is becoming more aware of the environmental impact of agriculture and is demanding a more sustainable agriculture, which makes input and production efficiency, as well as a strong respect for nature, extremely important.

Do you think there is interest among German farmers in using AI in agriculture?

In Germany, as everywhere else I think, AI came to everyone's attention some time ago with the appearance of ChatGPT. There needs to be more awareness of the amazing possibilities it holds, especially, for the agricultural sector. In any case, I think the potential of AI for agriculture is huge.

In your experience, how digitalized is the average German farm?

8 out of 10 farmers in Germany already use some kind of digital tool. Almost half of them use digital feeding systems and GPS steering for tractors, followed by agricultural apps and farm management systems. Nearly 75% see digitalization as a great opportunity for their farm. In short, digital technologies are generating a lot of interest. This confirms the far-sightedness of German farmers.

It is well known that German consumers have historically been very price-sensitive. But is it true that more and more consumers are paying more and more attention to the quality and sustainability of the food on their table?

Yes, things are changing, slowly but they are changing… In fact, during the pandemic you could see a shift towards more sustainable and higher quality food. More people chose to buy local and/or organic. Unfortunately, the high inflation and rising prices, especially for agricultural products, have made consumers more frugal again, cutting back on expensive fruit or organic products for example. But it can be said that people are still thinking about sustainability and trying to choose local and seasonal foods. This is a challenge, but also an opportunity for farmers.

Is bureaucracy a problem for German farmers? What do German farmers need?

Most farmers see bureaucracy as the biggest threat to their success and from my experience as a son of farmers, it does take up a lot of your valuable time. What farmers really need is a powerful tool to help them document and manage their increasingly complex farms.

Agritechnica is coming up soon. Is it worth attending? What are your expectations?

Agritechnica is the most important exhibition for the agtech industry in Europe. It offers the largest possible stage to present xFarm Technologies and its innovative xFarm platform to a large number of potential users and future collaborators. I'm expecting our presence to increase awareness of xFarm Technologies and provide an opportunity to make new contacts and deepen the existing network.

What do you find interesting about the xFarm app? What do you think German farmers will particularly appreciate?

xFarm is unique in the range of modules and functions it offers. I don't know of any other platform that can connect the entire agricultural supply chain, from sowing to processing the product. Farmers will love how it facilitates the documentation of e.g. defense applications and offers indications through its sensors and AI models!

Come and meet Ralf and find out more about xFarm Technologies in Hall 8, booth A12 during the Agritechnica trade fair from November 12th to 18th.

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