Automated steering systems, data-driven targeted application of fertilisers and pesticides, field robots and drones, soil analysis sensors, autonomous driving - digitisation is advancing in agriculture as elsewhere. The question asked by farmers and by society in general is whether the increasing adoption of digital technologies in agriculture is a curse or a blessing.
Sustainably cultivating arable land, ensuring good harvests, milking cows, paperwork - farmers are barely coping with their heavy daily workload. High-tech agricultural machinery and automated solutions help save time and resources. By contributing to shaping progress, agricultural businesses of all sizes can gain economic and ecological benefits.
The environmental footprint of petroleum-based plastic products does not look good. Alternatives for plastic production involving renewable raw materials are now being sought. Wood is experiencing a renaissance. Prof. Dr. Marie-Pierre Laborie, who holds the Chair of Forest Biomaterials at the University of Freiburg, and her team are researching the potential use of lignin, the natural glue in wood.
The historic transition from wood to hard coal was successfully made in the 19th century. We are now on our way to a sustainable bioeconomy. Research carried out by the Faculty of the Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Freiburg reveals what history can teach us about the transition to a more sustainable, biobased economy.