ADM and Bayer expand regenerative agriculture partnership in Europe

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The businesses jointly conducted a feasibility study into the adoption of regenerative farming practices at oilseed rape farms in Poland last year. This work covered around 9,000 hectares and resulted in notable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Changes made to on-farm processes included reducing tillage, planting cover crops and companion crops, planning crop rotation and adopting organic and bio-based inputs to promote crop growth.

Now, ADM and Bayer will extend the programme to more oilseed rape farmers, plus additional crops including corn, wheat and barley. It will also be expanded beyond Poland to other markets in Eastern Europe.

It is hoped that participating farms will be able to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%. Other benefits should include improved soil quality, enhanced biodiversity and heightened resilience.

ADM and Bayer will provide participating farmers with both financial and technical support.

Finance will be paid on a per-hectare basis; farmers will need to show their participation by measuring and verifying the adoption of agreed practices on a digital platform called Sandy, created by Trinity Agtech.

Technical support will be provided by local agronomists. Farmers will initially be educated on the environmental sustainability issues facing their specific crops in their regions. They will then be able to access individual on-farm assessments to inform the development of regenerative ag plans. Farmers will be connected online and at face-to-face events to share their experiences and learnings.

One participating farmer in Warmia-Masuria, Piotr Hulanicki, said: “We conduct regenerative agriculture practices on the farm because it is profitable for us. However, they must be well balanced with other agronomic practices to achieve farm-wide success.”

Bayer’s carbon business lead for the EMEA region, Lionnel Alexandre, said: “Developing a project with ADM in Europe on regenerative agriculture has a strong meaning for us as it showcases the importance of building a robust and committed value chain approach, where all players work for a common goal.”

2025 vision

The expansion of the project will contribute to ADM’s 2025 ambition of supporting regenerative agriculture across five million acres globally. As of the end of 2023, it had reached more than 2.8 million acres.

ADM’s director of global sustainability programmes Michelle French recently spoke to edie to outline learnings from engaging more than 28,000 farmers and identifying the right partnerships to scale regenerative ag practices. You can listen to her interview in full here.

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