Forward Farms Reaches America
By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor
Becky Langer, the project manager for the North American Bayer Bee Care Program, recently spoke with California Ag Today about Bayer Forward Farms — a knowledge platform that demonstrates sustainable agriculture and practice through agronomic solutions and proactive stewardship measures — and their recent introduction to the U.S. Forward Farming started in Europe. It is coming to the United States this year.
“We will launch our first forward farm in the Chesapeake Bay area in April of 2018,” Langer said.
Forward Farms are independent farms that represent the region in which they are located. These farms showcase sustainable agricultural practices and highlight the benefits of sustainable farming. They hope to expand to California within the next year or two and eventually into the Midwest or the south.
“Ideally, we are going to cover the different cropping systems that we see in the United States because the Forward Farm ideally focuses on farms that are representative of their region within the crop and size of it,” Langer said.
The Chesapeake Bay has soy, wheat and corn. In California, they hope to focus on some horticulture, nuts, fruits and vegetables. In the Midwest will be another large corn operation.
The goal of these Forward Farms is demonstration.
“We want to demonstrate that those farmers have a passion for sustainability. They are using it in practice on their farms and that this goes hand in hand with environmental and social responsibility,” Langer said.
The goal is to have modern agriculture along with sustainability. Things will focus on soil, cover crops, habitat enhancement, biodiversity on land, water conservation, and worker safety.
“Those are all critical when we talk about sustainability in modern agriculture, and so those will be real drivers in the conversation,” Langer explained.