Division of Agronomy

Paulina Englert receives the poster award at the conference of the Society of Agronomy

06 October 2023: Our staff member Paulina Englert receives the poster award at the conference of the Society of Agronomy for her poster contribution titled "Spatial and Temporal Variability of Nitrous Oxide Fluxes in a German Crop Rotation".

The poster shows initial results from the INFLUX project, in which she has been working on her PhD since September 2022. The data presented offer first insights into the evolution of nitrous oxide (N2O) after fertilization of sugar beet. Due to the increased availability of nitrate and moist soil conditions in spring, N2O emissions increased, despite the low nitrogen fertilization of only 60 kg/ha. The N2O fluxes (measured with the Licor-7820) showed a very high spatial variability which cannot yet be explained with the soil data analyzed so far. An even clearer peak of N2O emissions could be measured with the Eddy Covariance technique at the end of June induced by a heavy rainfall as well as rising temperatures after a dry period. The analysis of the Eddy Covariance data is currently being refined and we look forward to the results for winter wheat and insights into the underlying N2O producing processes in the soil.

Contact at the Division Agronomy:

Paulina Englert presents the certificate for the poster award in front of her poster.

64th Meeting of the Society of Agronomy in Göttingen

06 October 2023: In the first week of October 2023, the 64th meeting of the Society of Agronomy took place at University of Göttingen. For the 240 participants there were many opportunities for scientific exchange and networking during these intensive three days. The general topic of this year's conference was "DIGITAL TOOLS, BIG DATA, MODELING AND SENSING METHODS FOR SUSTAINABLE AND CLIMATE SMART CROP AND GRASSLAND SYSTEMS". The program focused on the important role that digitization plays regarding the development of a sustainable crop production, which is caught between food production, climate change and nature conservation. The plenary lectures addressed, for example, indoor farming or the use of artificial intelligence in crop production.

A total of 60 talks were contributed, which were integrated into 12 parallel sessions on the following topics: Grassland, Nitrogen Cycle, Nutrient Management / Carbon Cycle, Modeling, Soil management / Roots, Remote Sensing, Irrigation / Drought, Controlled and field experimentation - G×E×M, Adaptation to heat and drought, Crop protection / Biotic stress, Biodiversity and Precision farming. In the auditorium of the ZHG, it was in addition possible to discuss about more than 130 presented posters from all topics.

One of the highlights of the meeting was the conference dinner, which took place in the new research greenhouse of the Faculty of Agriculture. The greenhouse is nearing completion and will soon be ready with modern technologies for experiments on issues related to plant production. The conference concluded with an excursion to the experimental farm Reinshof of the University of Göttingen and to the experimental field of the Institute for Sugar Beet Research in Harste. During this excursion to Reinshof, there was the opportunity to present the field trials TRUESOIL and INFLUX which are conducted by the Division of Agronomy.

To promote young scientists, the Ernst Klapp Future Prize for the best presentation by a young scientist is awarded at each meeting of the Society of Crop Science. Among the 5 applicants, Martin Mittermayer from the Technical University of Munich (Chair of Organic Farming and Crop Production Systems) was chosen as this year's winner with his presentation "Sensor- and satellite-based analysis of spatial variability of soil and plant parameters and consequences for crop production".
In addition, a jury from the working group Young Crop Science selected the best of the 132 posters. The Poster Award was given to Paulina Englert (University of Göttingen, Department of Crop Sciences, Division Agronomy) for her contribution titled "Spatial and Temporal Variability of Nitrous Oxide Fluxes in a German Crop Rotation".

A big thank you goes to the whole team of the Division of Agronomy for the great organization of the meeting and the strong effort during the conference week! The conference will be held every two years now and the venue for the 65th meeting of the German Society of Crop Science in 2025 will be Halle (Saale).

Further information:

Contact persons at the Division Agronomy:

The participants of the conference in the lecture building at the central campus.

Extensive global wetland loss over the past three centuries - Article in Nature

08 February 2023: In an article published today in Nature an international research team led by Stanford University has reconstructed where and when wetlands were converted between the years 1700 and 2020, and why this was done. The Division Agronomy was involved in the study by providing information on agricultural projects to convert wetlands as well as about drainage in irrigated agriculture.

At least 3.4 million square kilometres of wetlands were mostly converted for use as farmland during the period studied: an area roughly the size of India. Wetland ecosystems have declined by about 21 to 35 percent over the past 300 years due to human intervention. This is far less than the 50 to 87 per cent loss estimated in previous studies. The lower estimate is probably due to the fact that the study did not focus solely on regions with historically high wetland losses. Wetland loss was greatest in the mid-20th century, with regional concentrations in Europe, the USA and China. More than 80 per cent of the former natural wetlands have been drained in Ireland, Hungary, Lithuania, Germany and Italy. In general, the former wetlands in the temperate regions have been particularly badly affected, while the remote boreal-arctic peatlands have remained comparatively intact.

This first systematic, data-based analysis of the extent of wetland loss worldwide over such a long period of time will contribute to a better understanding of the causes of wetland loss and the new data will enable to better quantify the effect of these land use changes in follow-up studies, for example on climate change, the loss of biodiversity, as well as on productivity increases in agriculture.

Additional information:
Article published in Nature
Article published in Nature (for readers without subscription to the journal
Link to a commentary by Nicholas J. Murray (James Cook University, Townsville, Australien)
Press release of the University Göttingen

Contact at the Division Agronomy:

Top: The Pietzmoor is the largest natural wetland in the Lüneburger Heide, Northeast Niedersachsen.
Center: Map of cumulative percent wetland loss per pixel estimated from 1700 to 2020 (yellow to red colors) and map of regions with dense present-day wetland and with low rates of loss (blue colors). This map shows the differences in the geographic distribution of anthropogenically-impacted wetlands versus non impacted wetlands and can be used to prioritize regions of wetland protection and restoration.
Bottom: The Orshinski Mokh peatland in Tver Province of the Russian Federation. A quarter of the peatland was drained for peat extraction between 1950-1990 primarily as fuel for a power station and supported a large settlement (Foto: Kirill Shakhmatov).