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European Farmers Need Other Technologies

Genetically
modified crops are as much of a U.S. farmer’s tool as is a tractor or combine.
In Europe, though, it’s a different story. Many European governments and
consumers continue to reject genetically modified organism (GMO) technology.

“We
need to think through other techcnolgies to make sure European farmers don’t
lose market share,” says Christoph Wigger, vice president of sales and
marketing for region 2 of John Deere GMBH and CO in Germany. Wigger spoke at
this week’s BASF Agricultural Solutions press conference in Ludwigshafen,
Germany.

Examples
they can use include John Deere’s FarmSight technology that enables farmers to
monitor field operations remotely. This enables farmers optimize machinery
efficiency and slice downtime. Such technologies can also help farmers save
money on other inputs like pesticides.

“We
want to help farmers apply them more precisely,” he says.

“We
need to produce sustainably and document what we do.”

 For example, companies like Wal-Mart are
beginning to request this kind of information, he notes.

“When
you think abou it, we have a challenge,” Wigger says. “By 2050, world
population is estimated to hit 9 billion people. We need to produce in the next
50 years more food than we have in the last 10,000 years.” 

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