European mobile seed cleaners bet on innovative practices
In a context of permanent financial pressure, the number of farmers in Europe who save seeds in their farms is increasing stated the mobile seed cleaners of Europe who met on 23 May in Warstein (Germany) for the annual meeting of EMSA their European umbrella organisation. “Supporting this approach, responsible both economically and environmentally, requires that we remains focused on our primary commitment: to provide an efficient service to farmers” said Nigel Day, president of EMSA.
Despite this positive trend, mobile seed cleaners are confronted to a lot of challenges: the confirmed ban of the neonicotinoids and the increasing opposition to the chemical crop protection products oblige seed cleaners to think about the evolution of their profession to go along the transitional phase of the European agriculture. An Ag. Chemical free seed market with all its inconvenient and advantages has been widely debated.
“The impact on the short term turn-over is obvious, but we have to integrate this perspective in our business model. New technologies, a flourishing innovation and the return to sustainable agricultural practices are as many challenges to be taken up in order to bring new services” explained Sylvain Ducroquet, president of the French mobile seed cleaners.
“However, we need to keep in mind that the diversity of agricultural models and climates in Europe imply local solutions” underlined Visti Møller, seed cleaner in Denmark.
Daring to think in another way and keeping the pace of innovation were both the core messages from Gyso Von Bonin, which agricultural holding of 200 ha 100 % organic since the early eighties hosted the event, and from Matthijs Wust from the company Niklas, producing seed treatment equipment.
It is the whole value chain that need to work together to ensure a more sustainable, competitive and profitable agricultural model. “Seed cleaners of the whole Europe need to talk to each other and exchange views, but our industry and our organisation need to dialogue with decision makers too” concluded Nigel Day. The evaluation of the steps made in that direction in the coming months will be the main issue of the next meeting to be held in 2019 in United Kingdom, at the eve of the elections for a new European Parliament.