RESEARCHING IN THE OUTDOORS

INNOVATION AND RESEARCH IN AGRICULTURE

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What we can learn from the plants and living beings in our field

Standing in full bloom, our T-logo and the #GREENMAGENTA lettering are not only a real eye-catcher, they are also home to many different flowers, herbs, and insects. From the very beginning, we planned the whole thing as a research project to gain new insights into preserving biodiversity. For this purpose, we work closely with the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Sciences (HfWU) and the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences (HSWT)

Some collect honey, others collect data

Both universities are exploring how biodiversity changes due to the flowering islands on our Magenta Blossom field. In their thesis, they assume that there is a close relationship between the diversity of plants in the field and the diversity and health of insects. This gain in knowledge is intended to help reduce the extinction of wild plants and insects. At the same time, the research project serves to use data collection and digitalization methods more intensively, thereby making agriculture even more sustainable.

How exactly do the professionals proceed? While the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University (HSWT) provides advisory support to develop new methods, the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Sciences (HfWU) carries out the on-site work. Their staff set up cameras for research, take care of the monitoring and evaluation of the collected data, and also provide information for the educational trail. At the same time, the team supports on-site tours to raise awareness of the topic and bring insights into biodiversity closer to those interested.

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For the research initiative, HfWU set the research focus at the outset. In our situation, it’s about leveraging specialized cameras for real-time monitoring of the diversity of flying insects in our field. Based on the captured images, we can gauge the number of insects and recognize different insect species with the help of AI software. Through GPRS/LTE, this data is then sent to a platform and can even be viewed online. The best part? The whole setup runs entirely on its own, powered by solar panels and a battery, and can be positioned anywhere across our field. When you drop by the educational path, you can dive into everything related to biodiversity, farming, and tech.

Why do we do this?

It sounds like a lot of work. But what do we hope to achieve from the research results?
Our goals of the project below:

  • – Investigation of the relationship between biodiversity and sustainable agriculture
  • – Research into the importance of biodiversity for agriculture – and the planet.
  • – Highlighting the potential of digitalization and technology for species protection.
  • – Knowledge transfer on the topics of biodiversity, agriculture, and digitalization.
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Technology is being used in this research project in an innovative way to better understand the development of biodiversity through the flowering patches. A significant advantage of our “remote monitoring” of insects is that we are continuously learning more about the story of insects. Which species can we find on-site, and how many insects are there in total? How does the quantity change over the research period? Are there differences because of the location of the cameras? And how does all this affect the flowering strips around the field?

All these questions are being researched at Magenta Blossom. Digitalization here is a helpful tool. Monitoring and research dealing with the causes of trends and ecological interconnections can help document a wide range of species and habitats and check measures to preserve biological diversity.

In light of climate change, this is especially important regarding resilient and balanced ecosystems that are better equipped to cope with climate variations. An exciting research project in the here and now, with a view towards the future of our planet.

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Keep an eye on the hashtag #greenmagenta or #magentablossom to not miss anything.

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