Piccoplant Mikrovermehrungen GmbH
FOR A SECURE FUTURE
We apply the highest scientific standards in our trial activities. Each of our products is first intensively tested and validated in laboratory and greenhouse trials before being transferred to extensive field trials. Together with certified trial institutes, we place great emphasis on a scientific and standardized trial design to ensure the comparability of results from different regions with different soil types. In addition, our prototypes are tested under practical conditions in cooperation with farmers. This valuable exchange enables us to develop solutions for farmers, which in their application and impact support future-proof farming.
International field trials: > 10 sites (blue), < 10 sites (green)
Research is our passion. Our diverse team includes expertise from the disciplines of agricultural and crop sciences, molecular biology, and microbiology, as well as forestry and environmental sciences. Together, we engage in ambitious cutting-edge research in the lab, in the greenhouse, and in the field in order to develop the optimal formula for each crop. We also pursue the goal of constantly adapting existing formulas to new conditions.
State-funded innovation projects also form another part of our research in order to pursue our long-term goal of sustainable, future-oriented agriculture with new and further developments.
We never stop being curious, questioning facts and exploring the unknown, because progress is what drives us.
Research is our passion, enabling us to continuously develop our products and create something new. In addition to our product-related research activities, we conduct research into new and further developments within the scope of various funding opportunities.
seedalive GmbH, Iotec GmbH, FBG Lingens GbR
Funding measure European Innovation Partnership "Productivity and Sustainability in Agriculture" (EIP Agri)
The funding supports cooperative innovation projects that provide the impetus for a competitive, sustainable, and animal-friendly agricultural and food sector. The aim is to promote innovation and improve the exchange of knowledge between science and agricultural practice.
Due to forest dieback 2.0, hundreds of thousands of hectares need to be reforested in Germany alone. In this context, the use of seedlings from tree nurseries meets capacity limits and is also viewed critically for reasons of a possibly lower resilience of the plants.
The ForestForward project has therefore set itself the goal of establishing a practicable no-till alternative for forestry and combines five solution approaches for this purpose:
- Further development of a rapid germination test for application to forest seed.
- Development of a germination-promoting seed coating.
- Storage of the tested and coated seed in a pellet to which auxiliary substances have been added.
- Design of a planting device, which can also be used by untrained personnel, with which the filled pellet is placed in the forest soil.
- Visualisation of sensor-based measurement data from small-scale site mapping for monitoring the afforested areas.
DEVELOPMENT OF A SEED AND LEAF TREATMENT FOR SUNFLOWERS WITH THE AIM OF ENSURING HIGH OIL QUALITY
The sunflower is one of the most important arable oil plants. Sunflower oil is not only part of the human diet but is also used in the chemical, fuel, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries due to its stability to heat and oxidation.
Russia and Ukraine together produce (or used to produce) more than half of the world's sunflower oil. The Russian war of aggression with the accompanying export difficulties illustrates the dependence on imports on the one hand, but on the other hand, brings considerable potential for German and European cultivation.
SEEDFORWARD plans to develop (and if successful, market) two new products: a seed treatment and a foliar application whose formulations are adapted explicitly to sunflowers. The aim is to improve plant growth right from the start and create the best conditions for high oil quality - a crucial factor for industrial use. These two products can help to sustainably strengthen conventional and organic sunflower cultivation in Germany and Europe and reduce dependence on imports.
Funding programme: Low-threshold innovation support programme for SMEs and crafts (nIFP)
SAAT - SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE THROUGH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES
FIR Aachen, schmiede.one
BMWK, "GreenTech" funding call in the „Entwicklung digitaler Technologien" funding program
Currently, complex harvesting and insufficiently studied field layout prevent the large-scale application of intercropping.
Within the SAAT-Project, SEEDFORWARD, together with schmiede.one and FIR Aachen conducts research to enable the broader adoption of intercropping and specifically investigate the benefits of intercropping for plants and soil. The following aspects are being investigated to provide better guidance and technical support for the cultivation of intercropping:
- A field planning tool based on explainable AI to determine an effective, crop-diverse field layout.
- An autonomous monitoring system suitable for mixed crops.
- An AI-driven robotics module for sorting crops that can be used in autonomous harvesting systems in mixed crops.
SOIL CONDITIONER BASED ON HUMIC SUBSTANCES
Development of a novel humic soil conditioner from raw and residual plant materials.
Humic substances are important components of soil organic matter and occur naturally in healthy soils. The positive effects of humic substances on plant growth are manifold and are based on various physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms.
Industrially, humic substances are largely obtained from a special type of lignite (Leonardite) or from peat. However, both raw materials are finite resources. In the interest of sustainability and in order to close material cycles more efficiently, SEEDFORWARD is researching in this project the effect of humic substances obtained from composted residues on the growth and development of plants.
NBank – Funding program for low-threshold innovations in small and medium-sized enterprises and craft enterprises
SEED TREATMENT FOR SOY
“Central Innovation Programme for SMEs” of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Soybean (Glycine max) is one of the most important crops in feed production. Its higher protein content and better amino acid pattern compared to other legumes make soybean highly interesting.
Advantages have also been recognized in human nutrition and thus the cultivation of soy for food production is booming worldwide and represents an enormous growth market. At the same time, cultivation of soy in our latitudes has so far been impossible or only feasible to a limited extent for various reasons.
As part of a feasibility study, we are now planning to lay the foundation for a product development for a special seed treatment for soybean, which will simplify cultivation in temperate latitudes as a novelty.
USE OF A ROOT FUNGUS AGAINST STRESS FACTORS IN VEGETABLES
Harnessing innovative endophytic root fungi in seed treatments to strengthen vegetable crops to increase plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress.
The object of the joint project is to establish a marketable innovative product to strengthen various crop species against pathogens and abiotic stress factors using specific seed coatings containing permanent spores of a root endophytic fungus as well as growth-stimulating substances (biostimulants, signal substances, trace elements, plant extracts) and fertilizers. The permanent spores of the endophyte are applied to the seed. As a result, the penetration of the endophyte is facilitated so that this fungus systemically infects the plant and produces the desired positive effects, such as increased growth, yield, rooting, nutrient uptake, and biotic and abiotic stress resistance. The seed coatings are tested according to plant-specific formulation using efficacy trials on the crop species cucumber, tomato, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach and sweet corn.
Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)
Steinbeis Innovation gGmbH, Hochschule Osnabrück
BIOLOGICAL SEED PELLETING WITH HYDROGEL
INTERREG V A Deutschland Nederland
Innovations - inspired by nature
Development of a hydrogel for biological pelleting of seeds according to the natural mechanism of plant germination.
For the germination and swelling of seeds, it is essential that they receive sufficient water. However, weather extremes such as high temperatures and droughts are becoming more frequent due to climate change, making field emergence more difficult.
In this project, SEEDFORWARD is developing a biological seed pelleting. By using special hydrogels in the pelleting, it swells when in contact with water in the topsoil. This is to allow germination only when there is sufficient water availability and in addition to increase the binding of moisture to the seed, which allows optimal germination even in drier locations. The effect of pelleting is tested in drought stress simulations.
CULTURE MEDIA AND SUBSTRATES ON A BIOLOGICAL BASIS
Biological media and ex-vitro substrate preparations for sustainable micropropagation and cultivation of economically relevant crops.
The aim of this innovation project is to develop an alternative to conventional substrate and ex-vitro substrate that enables sustainable micropropagation and plant cultivation. Micropropagations take place in the laboratory under the best possible growth conditions and allow the propagation of healthy seedlings over a relatively short period of time. The use of certain substrates is essential for this cultivation method.
Compared to conventional media and substrates, the biological substrates developed in the project are composed exclusively of diverse, complex organic and biological components obtained from various plant extracts and natural substances. Together with our project partner Piccoplant, the developed biological substrate is tested on economically relevant crops.
NBank, Lower Saxony Innovation Support Program for Research and Development in Companies