fenaco and crop.zone agree on strategic cooperation and develop innovative and sustainable weed control method
crop.zone’s sustainable and targeted weed control methods reduce the use of crop protection products. The innovative technology controls weeds with electric current. The innovative technology controls weeds with electric current. It is being introduced, tested and further developed by fenaco in Switzerland for the first time. It provides farmers with a competitive and sustainable alternative for controlling weeds.
Leading Swiss cooperative fenaco and German tech start-up crop.zone have signed a cooperation agreement. . The aim of the collaboration is to support Swiss farmers with innovative and sustainable crop protection solutions from crop.zone, thereby reducing the use of crop protection products. The technology was developed by crop.zone, while fenaco is responsible for introducing it to the Swiss market and adapting the solution to local conditions. As part of the collaboration, crop.zone’s weed control solutions will be used in Switzerland for the first time. Its use in Swiss fields is scientifically supported. In addition, interested farmers will have the opportunity to test the new technology under real conditions.
As part of the cooperation agreement, Michael Feitknecht, Head of Crop Production and Member of the Executive Board at fenaco, will sit on the crop.zone advisory board and advise the start-up on strategic issues.
Dirk Vandenhirtz, CEO of crop.zone, says: “We are very happy to be working with the leading agricultural cooperative in Switzerland. It gives us excellent access to many farms. The opportunity to bring our technologies to Switzerland is of strategic importance to us.”
Michael Feitknecht, Head of Crop Production and Member of the Executive Board at fenaco, says: “The technology from crop.zone gives us a new tool and embodies our principle ‘combination is the new innovation’. fenaco works with start-ups that develop innovative and sustainable technologies for agriculture. Switzerland is taking a leading position globally by making agriculture more sustainable, and fenaco is playing a crucial role.”
The crop.zone technology combats weeds with electric current, creating an innovative and sustainable method of weed control. The application width is up to twelve meters. With an application speed of 4 km per hour, the crop.zone solution can treat around 3 hectares per hour. In a first step, the plants are pre-treated with a conductive liquid. The weeds are then targeted by an electric charge. Energy consumption is thus lower and the procedure has a significantly higher efficiency compared to other electrical technologies. The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) is currently clarifying whether the process can be approved for organic farming.
With this new solution for controlling weeds, fenaco and crop.zone offer a safe, reliable and environmentally friendly alternative that makes Swiss agriculture more sustainable. It also increases farm yields and profitability The method will be presented to the public for the first time at the opening of the new beneficial weed production facility in Aesch (BL) in spring 2021.
Crop.zoneGmbH was founded in 2019. It brings together an experienced team, with a broad background in agricultural engineering, start-up, development, licensing and regulatory affairs. The goal of crop.zone is to develop and commercially offer new methods as an alternative to conventional crop protection. With currently 16 employees, crop.zone develops the latest methods and applications for agriculture at the high-tech location of Aachen in association with the University of RWTH Aachen. These include crop preparation for crops such as potatoes, as well as non-plowing field preparation and use in specialty crops. Currently, crop.zone operates in Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland.
The fenaco is an agricultural cooperative with over 100 years of experience. It is in the hands of 183 LANDI and their more than 44,000 members, of which over 23,000 are active Swiss farmers. As a marketing partner of the farmers, fenaco ensures that the valuable Swiss foodstuffs reach the customers – from fruit, vegetables, potatoes and grain to eggs, meat and beverages. As a supplier, fenaco offers a wide range of products and services needed for sustainable, efficient and market-oriented agriculture. Among fenaco’s best-known brands are the beverage producer RAMSEIER Suisse, the meat processor Ernst Sutter, the retailers Volg and LANDI, the fertilizer trader LANDOR, the animal feed producer UFA and the energy supplier AGROLA. The fenaco cooperative, headquartered in Bern, employs more than 10,000 people and generated net sales of CHF 7 billion in 2019.