Christian Philipp Flögel is already the eleventh generation to run a farm. Reliability and consistency are important values for him - not as an end in themselves, but as a guarantee that agricultural change will have a successful outcome.
Reliability - for Christian Philipp Flögel, is a value he holds in high regard. The 43-year-old has been farming in the Hildesheim Börde region for 15 years. Flögel is a passionate farmer who grows sugarbeet, silage corn, winter barley and wheat. Even as a child, it was clear to him that he would take over his family’s farm, now in its eleventh generation, and make farming his life. Flögel has never regretted the decision. "When I stand on my terrace and look out over my beet field, it fills me with joy and pride," he says.
For Flögel, reliability and consistency are the indispensable counterbalance to change and upheaval. Because agriculture, as he still knew it from his father and grandfather, is changing more and more rapidly and holds numerous challenges in store for farmers like him. On the one hand, there is climate change and with it the increase in extreme weather, and on the other, consumer demands for ecological change, which are not infrequently in tension with those of the global market. "My ancestors already had to master challenges and changes, demonstrate flexibility and be innovative," says Flögel. "But the pace at which change is happening today has increased enormously."
Changes offer opportunities
Flögel also knows that change always means opportunities and he is glad that he has a reliable, competent partner like KWS at his side. The Hildesheim farmer has been working closely with KWS seed consultant Fritz-Jürgen Lutterloh for the past 15 years. Together they drive the fields, talk business over a cup of coffee and analyze the data from past harvests. Over the years, a good, reliable relationship based on trust has developed, Flögel says. "You just know, what you have in each other.“
"KWS supplies me with seed of the highest quality," emphasizes Flögel, praising his partner's breeding expertise. With innovative strength and foresight, KWS breeds new varieties that are well equipped to withstand extreme weather or are more resistant, so that they can better cope with the reduction in pesticides targeted by the EU, says Flögel. "This breeding commitment helps me to master the challenges of the future. “
"Soil is my capital"
As a farmer, the 43-year-old father of three sons aged four, eight and eleven has set his sights high. "I don't want this to sound arrogant," Flögel says, "but I want to be among the best and always achieve the highest possible yield." To that end, the farmer does a lot. He carefully works the heavy, dark soils of the Hildesheim Börde. "The soil is my capital," he says. Moisture level and soil condition - both are carefully checked before sowing. Only when the soil is no longer crumbly or even lumpy, but nicely flaky and comes away easily from the spade, does Flögel start sowing.
"I only have one attempt per year. I leave nothing to chance," he says. Flögel felt particularly clearly that his efforts were worthwhile in the drought year of 2018. While many farmers were only able to harvest around 16 tons of sugar per hectare due to the drought, Christian Philipp Flögel had a proud 19 tons of sugar per hectare: the best harvest in the farm's history. He attributes the success to two factors: the soils of the Börde region, which store water well, and the seed from KWS. "Sugarbeet is simply a fantastic fruit," says farmer Flögel - and you can clearly hear the enthusiasm for his profession in his voice. |
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