【DE】DLG awards Wilhelm-Rimpau prizes for the year 2022

Four innovative and practical bachelor’s or Master’s theses in plant production awarded

 

The winners are:

 

  • Manuel Bongard from the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Soest
  • Lukas Förter, Justus Liebig University Giessen
  • Johannes Schneider from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
  • Matthias Stettmer from the Technical University of Munich

 

(DLG). The DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft) has as part of its field days on the 14th. June 2022 on the grounds of the Kirschgartshausen test site near Mannheim (Baden-Württemberg) the Wilhelm-Rimpau Prizes for the year 2022. For the twelfth time, the DLG has now had innovative and practical bachelor’s or Master’s theses in plant production. An independent jury selected four particularly outstanding from a total of 23 submitted, very good works on behalf of the DLG Board. This year, the prize winners come from the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences in Soest, the Justus Liebig University of Giessen, the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Technical University of Munich. Two third prizes were awarded. The prize is named after Wilhelm Rimpau, the “father of German plant breeding” and founder of the seed breeding department of the DLG. DLG President Hubertus Paetow presented the prizes at the opening event of the DLG Field Days together with Ministerial Director Grit Puchan, Ministry of Food, Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg.

 

First prize to Manuel Bongard from the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Soest

The first prize, endowed with 2,000 EUR, goes to Manuel Bongard from Mechernich (North Rhine-Westphalia) for his master’s thesis on “Reduction of herbicides through alternative methods for weed control in sugar beet cultivation”. The work was carried out by Prof. Dr. Verena Haberlah-Korr, Department of Plant Protection, Department of Agriculture at the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences in Soest.

 

Mr. Bongard comes from the Rhineland and started the Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science at the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences in Soest after the University of Applied Sciences in 2015. From 2018 to 2021, he also completed his master’s degree in agricultural sciences at the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences in Soest. For the master’s thesis on the question of alternative weed control in sugar beet, Mr. Bongard carried out field tests at two locations. In addition to a location in the Rhineland, the second test site was on the Kirschgartshausen test site of Südzucker AG.

 

Weed control in sugar beet is about to change. The re-evaluation of active ingredients, the reduction of the available herbicides as well as increasingly resistant weeds and weeds make it necessary to change the weed management. Previous alternatives such as weed control by means of thermals and mechanics work, but the workload is quite high and the area performance is too low. In order to reduce the use of chemical plant protection products and still be able to grow sugar beet productively and efficiently, new solutions are needed.

 

To achieve exactly this, Manuel Bongard investigated the effectiveness of chemical, mechanical and electrophysical methods at two locations. For this purpose, he compared the flat herbicide application with a tape application, which was absetfully combined with mechanical and electrophysical measures. The electrophysical process was used for the first time as an application between the sugar beet rows.

 

Manuel Bongard’s tests showed that the combination of the different control methods can lead to an increase in the overall efficiency, provided that they are used independently of each other for the respective optimal weather conditions. Electrophysical control proved to be particularly effective, as two measures were already sufficient to obtain a weed-free sugar beet population. Problem herbs such as field scratching thistle and goosefoot were also successfully combated. The results of this master’s thesis show that by integrating the electrophysical process into the control strategy, the treatment frequencies can be reduced without sacrificing the weed effect. Especially on problem locations and in the case of resistant weeds, the beets between the rows can be kept weed-free.

 

In combination with series-related belt injection, the herbicide effort can be reduced by up to 60 percent and thus shows a chance of how the objectives of the Green Deal can be realized.

 

Second prize to Lukas Förter, Justus Liebig University Giessen

The second prize, endowed with EUR 1,500, goes to Lukas Förter from Ostheim (Hesse) for his bachelor’s thesis on “Vegetation-accompanying high-throughput field phenotyping of a winter wheat collection under contrasting irrigation intensities by means of drone-supported multispectral reflection measurements”. The work was carried out at the Chair of Plant Breeding of the Justus Liebig University of Giessen under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rod Snowdon wrote.

 

Lukas Förter comes from a family farm in Hesse and studied agricultural sciences after graduating from the Justus-Liebig University of Giessen. After completing his successful bachelor’s degree, Lukas Förter is now in the master’s degree in crop science at the JLU in Giessen.

 

In his bachelor’s thesis, Mr. Förter dealt with the use of sensor-bearing drones for high-throughput phenotyping in wheat breeding with regard to the characteristic of drought stress tolerance. Wheat is acutely affected by drought-stress-reducing loss of yield due to advancing climate change. In order to find a breeding response in the form of dry stress-tolerant varieties by selecting the best genotypes, it is necessary to collect as much, accurate phenotypic information as possible in advance.

 

With his work, Förter was able to prove that the multispectral sensor used is suitable for phenotyping in field trials. The large-scale tests in elite wheat proved that sensor technology allows data collection without great time and personnel effort, which allow an increase in breeding progress. The sensor can capture the phenotypic data that previously had to be determined with a handheld device in a fraction of the time with the same accuracy. It is also particularly relevant that the data collected can quantify phenotypic characteristics that correlate with high yields under drought stress. With his bachelor’s thesis, Mr. Förter was able to show how the latest technology can be used to support wheat breeding towards dry stress-tolerant varieties and how breeding progress can be generated.

 

First third prize to Johannes Schneider from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Johannes Schneider from Stadthagen received the first third prize endowed with 1,000 EUR for his master’s thesis on “The suitability of elite lines for hybrid seed production and as a tester in intersections with plant genetic resources”. The work was carried out at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research as well as at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and carried out by Prof. Dr. Jochen Reif.

 

From 2013 to 2017, Mr. Schneider studied agriculture at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences and then successfully completed the master’s degree in crop science at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Since graduating, he has been working as a doctoral student at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research and Gatersleben.

 

Johannes Schneider examined quantitative-genetic aspects of the receptorivity of wheat blossom and was able to observe strong differences in the suitability of wheat varieties as a mother line for hybrid production. With its results, it helps to study the basis for the study of the yield potential of the genetic resources of wheat in the hybrid background. This makes it possible to open up valuable diversity for the improvement of hybrid wheat. Mr. Schneider was able to successfully implement the test question asked and the methodically complex experimental preparation through sound practical and theoretical knowledge of plant science. In its assessment, the Commission would like to emphasize in particular the mature experimental position, the innovative content of the question and the high scientific level of this master’s thesis. The versatile experiments, which were carried out in two series of field trials and on three environments, took place, among other things, in the immediate vicinity of the Schlanstedt domain in Saxony-Anhalt, which the namesake of this award, Wilhelm Rimpau, already used for his studies.

 

Second third prize to Matthias Stettmer from the Technical University of Munich

Matthias Stettmer from Bogen in Bavaria received the second third prize endowed with 1,000 EUR for his master’s thesis on “Comparative study of the turning times in soil cultivation of individually planned and unplanned driving strategies taking into account the stroke form”. The work was carried out at the Chair of Agricultural Systems Engineering at the Technical University of Munich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Heinz Bernhardt made.

 

After graduating from high school, Matthias Stettmer first studied agricultural sciences (Bachelor) and then in the Master’s degree in Agricultural Management at the Weihenstephan Science Center for Nutrition, Land Use and Environment at the Technical University of Munich and successfully completed it. As part of his master’s thesis, he dealt with methods for reducing turning times in soil cultivation and tested them in extensive field tests at a practical company in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

 

In addition to set-up and travel times, turning times in soil cultivation are among the biggest factors of avoidable work inefficiency. With the help of GPS-supported steering systems, there are many possibilities for driving through agricultural land. Matthias Stettmer examined four different typical driving patterns depending on a straight, one curvy and an oblique turn on five different field beats. The aim of the master’s thesis was to examine in detail which driving pattern is considered optimal depending on the stroke shape and the machine characteristics in order to be able to derive rules for route planning afterwards. In the course of his investigations, he succeeded in finding out that a driving pattern adapted to the impact and the tillage device can reduce the turning time by up to 40 percent. Matthias Stettmer can not only contribute to increasing efficiency in arable farming systems with his master’s thesis, but has also laid the foundations for developments in the establishment of autonomous driving.

 

Interested parties can obtain further information from DLG, Eschborner Landstr. 122, 60489 Frankfurt am Main. Contact person is Johannes Steinfort, Tel. 069/24788-303 or j.steinfort@dlg.org.

 

Detailed information on the “Wilhelm-Rimpau-Preis” can also be found on the Internet at www.dlg-feldtage.de/de/programm/wilhelm-rimpau-preis.

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