A DIFFERENT LOOK

Documentaries about people and their worlds

Agriculture without chemistry?

Farmers are looking for new ways

A documentary by Tatjana Mischke

A production for SWR

TV premiere: 17th of July 2019, 20:15, SWR

More broadcasts: 19th of July 2019, 01:05, SWR

Available until the 15th of July 2020 in the SWR Mediathek.

Industrial agriculture promises high yields and cheap prices. This is possible by the use of large machines and a lot of chemistry. But we are becoming increasingly aware of the downside: our drinking water is contaminated with nitrate, insects die, the soil leaches out. At the same time, the farmers themselves are coming to a dead end: more and more farmers are forced to give up their farms because they can no longer withstand the price pressure. What alternatives to industrial agriculture are there? We accompany different farmers over a longer period of time and ask: what kind of agriculture leads us into the future? Which model of management is environmentally friendly while at the same time making sure that farmers can live of it?

Sven Wilhelm from Oberkirch is making a radical change: he is changing his vegetable production to organic. A difficult time of transition lies ahead of him. Michael Reber from Schwäbisch Hall goes another way. He continues to work conventionally, but by a new method he tries to build up naturally the humus on his fields. This should not only save the environment, but also save money.
Agricultural research projects confirm that there are a lot of such approaches between flawless organic and large-scale industrial agriculture that simply provide more sustainability. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that consumers are playing a decisive role in ensuring that farmers benefit from environmentally friendly agriculture.

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