Benefiting Biodiversity & Soil Health
Through close collaboration with growers and other partners, we are committed to balancing the need for crop production with nature conservation and reducing agriculture’s impact on biodiversity.
Agriculture and biodiversity are inextricably intertwined. Healthy crops depend on resilient ecosystems comprised of soil organisms, beneficial insects like pollinators, habitats for wild flora, animals that live in and around the crops—and even the genetic diversity of the crops themselves. At the same time, ensuring a safe and secure food supply involves changing how the natural environment and resources are used—and this has an impact on biodiversity.
Biodiversity loss has increased alarmingly in the past several decades. In agriculture, this is primarily attributed to land use change, deforestation, climate change, some crop management practices and pollution. Beyond agriculture, invasive species are a threat to many natural environments. According to the latest IPBES report on biodiversity and ecosystem services, more than one million species of plants and animals face extinction, driven by human activity.
Addressing biodiversity loss requires a significant shift towards a more balanced delivery of food production and other ecosystem services such as the provision of habitats. This involves redesigning the way we grow certain crops to take into consideration biodiversity conservation and restoration at the farm level. We believe that sustainable innovations and business models will empower growers to achieve this balance, which is why we are committed to working with growers to develop and implement solutions that help their operations thrive together with biodiverse ecosystems.
Each 1 percent increase in soil organic matter helps soil hold 20,000 gallons more water per acre.
University of Florida
Achieving balance between production and biodiversity
We have the opportunity, capability and responsibility to ensure that healthy, biodiverse ecosystems and productive fields can coexist. While there is no “one size fits all” solution, we are investing in the development of innovative tools and services that improve farming and land management practices while balancing production and conservation objectives. By innovating and collaborating with growers and other stakeholders—public and private—we are:
Developing innovative, sustainable solutions that reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, including:
- Enabling growers to produce more on the same amount of land with fewer inputs reducing their need to expand into natural habitats
- Working with growers on existing farmland to further implement integrated crop management tools—from seeds adapted to the specific soil and climate conditions to smart integrated crop protection solutions covering diagnostics, monitoring and decision support — that help farmers manage damaging pests with less impact on surrounding ecosystems and wildlife.
Reducing agriculture’s impact on climate change by:
- Committing to reduce field greenhouse gas emissions in major cropping areas by 30%, acknowledging that climate change is a contributor to habitat destruction and biodiversity loss
- Working with growers to improve their soil health and better prepare them for challenges brought about by climate change
Encouraging biodiversity conservation and restoration by:
- Identifying biodiversity enhancing measures that also benefit crop production as well as new value capture mechanisms and business models that incentivize farmers to implement biodiversity-friendly practices.
- Supporting growers to create natural or semi-natural habitats within and beyond their cropped fields to conserve associated biodiversity and endangered species.
Partnering with growers and other organizations to develop and share knowledge about biodiversity preservation best practices and solutions, including:
- Investing in research to better understand the root causes of insect decline and developing adequate countermeasures that are practical for growers to implement. Read more about one of our many pollinator collaborations
- Co-designing sustainable farming practices, stewardship activities and training programs such as Bayer ForwardFarming, BayG.A.P. and Better Life Farming for smallholders as well as big farming operations.
Helping protect forests and promote native habitat restoration by:
- Engaging in programs focused on native forest afforestation and avoiding deforestation.
- Providing solutions to our customers from the agriculture, forestry and nature conservation sector to help them restore native vegetation through the control of invasive alien species and the acceleration of afforestation. Read More
- Launching Bayer solutions that enable landowners to restore 1 million hectares of native habitat by 2030, leading to more than a 20% increase in biodiversity richness.
Biodiversity Preservation in Practice on the Azienda Agricola Moranda ForwardFarm
In Valpolicella, Italy, the Capurso family produces wine varieties such as Valpolicella, Valpolicella Superiore, and Amarone, also known as “The Great Bitter” because of the partially dried grapes that help give the wine its full body and rich flavor. The Capurso’s strive to uphold the renowned legacy of the Veneto region wines by implementing modern farming techniques and respecting their surroundings. At the vineyard, integrated crop management is a key pillar to produce high-quality wine grapes. Real-time information on changes in weather and soil moisture enables optimal irrigation and correct crop protection use. Smart digital traps provide real-time data on the population and dynamics of insect pests harmful to the vines and enable intervention only when needed. Biodiversity is promoted by habitat enhancement measures such as flowering strips and bird nesting boxes. The presence of bees is encouraged by fostering food availability and living space. Regular biodiversity monitoring takes place through the biodiversity Friend®certification by the World Biodiversity Association.