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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.