What does agriculture mean today?

And how few mega companies will shape tomorrow's agriculture.

The trend to mega companies

"Monsanto has finally agreed to be purchased by Bayer AG in a historic $66 billion all-cash takeover. The agreement, which both corporations have confirmed, will form the largest seed and pesticide company in the world. " (ECOWatch, Sep. 14, 2016 )

The new mega company is producing...

  • 25% of the worldwide seed protected by plant-variety rights,
  • 90% of the worldwide genetically modified seed 
  • 27% of the worldwide pesticides

It's very likely, that this development will be continued and only four big

companies will control the agricultural industry in future.

What does that mean for the agriculture in future?

As a result of this development three phenomenons will characterize the global agriculture

of tomorrow:

  • single-crop farming with partly genetically modified seed will more and more replace traditional farming in poor countries

  • more organic farming especially in Europe and Australia

  • digital farming as a further development of industrial farming in the industry countries

Single-crop farming

• at the beginning of the twentieth century, the invention of the nitrogen fertilizer enabled the same crops to be cultivated on the same field for several years

• over the years single-crop farming became the standard in the USA and Europe

• today, most farmers in the US and Europe are specialized in a few crops and are dependent on the corresponding industrial seed, fertilizers and pesticides

• the agricultural industry is looking for new markets especially in poor countries

Single-crop farming


• scf gives small farmers the chance to reach a better live standard

• modern fertilizers and pesticides decrease the number of crop losses

• higher crop yields and a better crop quality than for traditional agriculture

• are one possibility to feed better the growing populations in poor countries 


• famers depend on prices of the agricultural industry for seed, fertilizer and pesticides

• the specialization in a few crops means a higher financial risk in case of pest infestations, plant deseases, climate extremes and oversupply

• for single-crop farming you need expensive agricultural machines

• the heavy use of pesticides and modern fertilizer caused a higher environmental pollution

Genetically modified seed

  • For even more higher crop yields and a better crop quality Monsanto developed at the beginning of the nineties genetically modified seed

  • today Monsanto produce unbelievable 90% of the worldwide gms

  • the seed enable a faster and lusher growth than conventional seed and in most cases a better resistance against droughts and pest infestations

Genetically modified seed


  • some seed sorts should have a better resistance against droughts and pest infestations
  • these properties make gms interesting for regions in Africa with harsh climat conditions
  • higher yields are possible, what enabled the farmers to earn more money
  • the health risks for humans and animals aren´t well researched
  • so the health risks are hard to estimate
  • the farmers depend on high prices for gms and the corresponding fertilizer and pesticides
  • companies forbid the farmers to save seed for the next year
  • a lot of gm plants need a bigger plenty of pesticides against weed than conventional plants
  • the pesticide "Roundup" from Monsanto is under suspicion to be cancer-causing
  • next to the weeds it kills many other plants where it is used
  • gm plants grow wild in the nature and eliminate other plants or mix with them

    • gms is threatening the natural diversity of flora and fauna

Organic farming

  • was launched in the early 20th century as an alternative to single crop farming

  • organic farming is farming with organic seed

  • the farmers are legally bound to avoid chemical pesticides, fertilizer and genetic engineering

  • in Germany the prices are on average 70% higher than for conventional food

  • however the share of of has been growing continuously since the last 15 years especially in Europe and Australia

Organic farming


  • independence from industrial seeds, fertilizers and pesticides
  • low environmental pollution
  • ensure the conservation of the variety of seeds, wild plants and animals 


  • organic food have a higher price than food from conventional agriculture
  • only a little part of the worldwide population can afford organic food
  • the costly cultivation makes it difficult to feed a bigger part of the worldpopulation with of

Digital farming

  •  df means industrial farming with the help of digital data

  • even now Bayer and BASF are testing digital platforms
  • with the help of satellite images, machine data feedback and weather analyzes the digital systems are able to give personalized recommendations for each field

  • so for example the farmers know:
    • which crop is most suitable for which field
    • how much fertilizer certain areas of a field need
    • when the best time for plant-health measures is

  • furthermore Bayer developed an image recognition app for weed for mobile devices

  • so the weed can identified and removed very early

  • that saves time, money for pesticides and protect the environment

Digital farming


  • the less use of fertilizer and pesticides protect the environment
  • better preventions against plant diseases and pest infestation
  • saves time and money while managing the farm
  • larger and qualitative better yields about optimal conditions for the crops bring the farmers more money


  • customer data could be misused
  • f.ex. about illegal business transactions
  • customer data could be hacked -->this means a higher financial risk for the farmers
  • farmer are even more depend on the agricultural industry


  • industrial farming will become on many places of the world the worldwide standard
  • the aim will be to reach more and more larger harvest yields of one agricultural crop in order to be competitive on the world market
  • the life standard of some farmers will significantly increase
  • in poor countries a lot of farmers will lost their job
  • it is likely that genetically modified seeds will also be increasingly popular in poor countries in order to achieve the highest possible harvest yields.
  • for the future: using the existing cultivation areas more effectively and better protect the environment
  • a possible solution could be digital farming
  • in this regard organic farming is a luxury that will increase above all in wealthy regionsof the world

Thank you for your attention!

references/ text

  • http://www.ecowatch.com/bayer-buys-monsanto-2004657068.html
  • https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_AG
  • https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto
  • https://de.statista.com/themen/1690/monsanto/
  • https://reset.org/knowledge/saatgut-privatisierung-monsanto-und-co-dem-vormarsch
  • https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monokultur
  • http://www.pflanzenforschung.de/de/themen/lexikon/monokultur-786
  • https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96kologische_Landwirtschaft
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_farming
  • http://bio-markt.info/kurzmeldungen/bio-lebensmittel-kosten-70-prozent-mehr-18069.html
  • https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/165217/umfrage/anteil-der-oekologisch-landwirtschaftlichen-flaeche/
  • http://www.weltagrarbericht.de/themen-des-weltagrarberichts/saatgut-und-patente-auf-leben.html
  • http://www.transgen.de/anbau/1508.gentechnik-pflanzen-anbau-usa-bilanz.html
  • http://www.bund.net/themen_und_projekte/gentechnik/risiken/umwelt/herbizidresistente_pflanzen/
  • http://www.weltagrarbericht.de/themen-des-weltagrarberichts/baeuerliche-und-industrielle-landwirtschaft.html
  • http://www.bauerwilli.com/zeigefinger/
  • http://www.deutschlandradiokultur.de/traditionelle-landwirtschaft-als-ausweg-aus-der-krise.979.de.html?dram:article_id=152
  • http://gmoinquiry.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/where-in-the-world-gm-crops-foods.pdf
  • http://orgprints.org/29790/13/willer-lernoud-2016-global-data-biofach.pdf

references/ pictures and graphics

  • http://www.dw.com/image/19191192_401.png
  • http://images.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&source=imgres&cd=100&ved=0ahUKEwiI9senl7DQAhUCbxQKHbxbAgQ4YxDmEwgFMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.earthtimes.org%2Fnewsimage%2Fcotton250215%2Cjpg&usg=AFQjCNE0CF7JL49LkxJ62RTWedwAF09GKA&sig2=ej-_tNA--Cyd8QigiqtBZw
  • http://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/i0NWx5SOM_ek/v4/-1x-1.png
  • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d1/PaullHennig2016WorldMap.OAha.CC-BY-4.0.jpg/420px-PaullHennig2016WorldMap.OAha.CC-BY-4.0.jpg
  • http://www.organicresearchcentre.com/manage/authincludes/article_uploads/pictures/Growth_continent.jpg
  • http://www.cimmyt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/James-Gethi.jpg
  • http://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/charts/33897_dec12_fuglie_fig02png/dec12_fuglie_fig02.png
  • https://www.cropscience.bayer.com/~/media/bcs-inter/ws_globalportal/stories/2014/ff-02-2014/digital-farming/kv-dig
  • http://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/views-article/world_bank_farming.jpg?itok=jPw38H4p
  • https://www.q-files.com/images/pages/galleries/925/farming-8.jpg
  • http://nicosiamoneynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/9956ed12-229c-11e6-9-IlxSW.png
  • http://seedfreedom.in/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/cotton-boll-640x398.jpg
  • http://www.gmo-safety.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/GMOcanola.jpg
  • http://www.greenpeace.org/international/ReSizes/OriginalWatermarked/PageFiles/25653/monsanto-no-food.jpg
  • http://www.motherjones.com/files/nitrogen.big_.jpeg
  • http://wonderopolis.org/_img?img=/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/dreamstime_xl_38810318-Custom.jpg&transform=resizeCrop,720,450
  • http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2016/02/South-Africa-corn-maize-field.jpg
  • http://agrifarming.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Cotton-Harvesting.jpg
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Agriculture today

by alexda


Public - 11/7/16, 2:41 PM