Nine days ago posted a Blip of some Kite's that had been photo-bombing a tractor deep-ploughing a field. In the meantime, the field had been harrowed & rolled. Despite the rain of the last few days, the field is now dust dry.
As we were driving out for the evening walk, passed this Jeep in the village & we both looked at each other as sometimes happens with those driving the same brand of let's say not usual car. I was actually intrigued by the "thing" on the side which looked like a log splitter & I had spent all day splitting logs.
Then on the walk, the Jeep came at us whirling up dust on the gravel track (not generally open to non-agricultural vehicles) & there was an exchange of nodding heads. Still was none the wiser as he seemed to be a "foreigner" from the Augsburg area. He then turned on to smaller grass tracks and was a few hundred metres away when he suddenly lurched onto the ploughed field and started driving zig-zag all over the place, stopping briefly from time to time.
With the camera zoom, I was able to work it out & with two clicks on Google using the number plate, found out it was a soil sampler for a non-profit, state "acknowledged" & "charitable" group to advise farmers on best practice in let's say ecological food production. Not a strictly organic based set up, it seems though to be trying to get the best use of "conventional" farming methods and play its part in the Bavarian Bio-Diversity laws that are still causing some aggravation with some farmers. I guess the sampling will be fed into the tractor GPS system in due course when the corn/maize gets its first dose of chemicals & fertilizers.
This field and a number of others seem to belong to a farmer who is into biogas (electricity). He ploughed very late compared to most as he had planted a winter cereal crop that had been mystifying me for weeks. It was very tall and had largely been knocked over and it was clear there was no chance of it ever ripening or being combine harvested. Just before ploughing, it had been mown & turned into silage for the biogas and I like to think the "greening" measure was useful for the soil, although subsequent deep ploughing tends to do quite a bit of damage to soil organic life - worms etc - but I am no expert.
Well apparently the membership of the organisation counts 90,000 Bavaria farmers in all different parts of the business from wine, hops, .... etc. & they seem to be involved in helping shape government policy. If they are helping to reduce chemicals & help farmers produce even more healthy food for us, then great. Have my doubts when it comes to corn/maize though!
PS I know several biogas/electricity units already use the heat generated to supply warmth to attached greenhouse operations but I wonder if it should not be a legal requirement as part of getting subsidies for agricultural land & renewable electricity that these units must also show they are using the heat. You don't see too many of these units near villages where they could use the heat to warm houses/water.