Continental Study "Agriculture in Transition"

Climate Change Felt Every Day: Green Solutions for Agriculture Ensure Success

Farmers need support to realize their vision of a more efficient and sustainable agriculture. This is the conclusion of Continental's "Agriculture in transition" study.

Climate change felt every day

Droughts, floods and soil erosion are not just headlines for farmers around the world. Around two-thirds of farmers experience climate change and its effects, such as changing weather and environmental conditions, on a daily basis. This is an acute threat to the entire agricultural industry and a clear call to action for technology manufacturers. Farmers need support to realize their vision of a more efficient and sustainable agriculture. This is the conclusion of Continental's "Agriculture in transition" study.

The effects of climate change also pose an indirect threat to farms and farmers. For example, more than two-thirds of the farmers surveyed (around 69 percent) consider soil quality to be a critical factor in their daily work, not only for sustainable agriculture, but also for the economic success of a farm. Farmers see environmental protection as the key to the long-term success of their farm – even more so than safety and digitalization.

"In addition to politicians, who can set the right framework, it is up to manufacturers to meet these demands with durable and environmentally friendly technologies."

Mario Branco
Head of Off-Highway at Continental

From attitude to action: farmers want a sustainable transformation

Faced with these tangible consequences of climate change, farmers have developed an internal motivation for sustainable change: 80 percent of respondents want to work for farms that are engaged with the environment and proactively address the issue of sustainability. Nearly all farmers (87 percent) also believe it is important that the machinery and equipment used on the farm contribute to sustainability.

Important Factors for Farmers

However, farmers are also taking the step from attitude to action: The majority of farmers are committed to environmentally friendly farming methods. For example, about 78 percent of farmers prefer more sustainable alternatives to conventional pesticides. Sustainable change is also evident in the use of machinery. Around 82 percent of farmers consider it important to use energy-efficient technologies and agricultural machinery, such as vehicles with sustainable drives or particularly lightweight machines. Also worth mentioning in this context: Predictive maintenance of machinery is considered important by one in two farmers (around 50 percent). Environmentally friendly management of the technologies used (around 53 percent) and the longevity of the equipment (around 62 percent) are also highly valued.

Q8.1: You have indicated that the issue of sustainability of agricultural equipment/machinery is very important or quite important on your farm. What issues play a role in this context?
Shaping change together: Farmers rely on support from technology manufacturers

Despite these ambitions, the sustainable transformation in agriculture is still stalling too often. Farmers need support from technology manufacturers such as Continental and have clear expectations: According to the study, they would like to see a focus on upgrading existing machines to use more environmentally friendly technologies, while avoiding expensive new purchases (around 37 percent). Environmental compatibility is also an important issue for new investments. Around 35 percent of the decision-makers surveyed take this aspect into account in their investment planning.

„Farmers around the world are faced with growing demands: rising food requirements, increasing regulations and the very visible effects of climate change. In addition to politicians, who can set the framework conditions, it is also up to manufacturers to meet these demands with durable and environmentally friendly technologies," explains Mario Branco, Head of Off-Highway at Continental.

Weed control system: digital technologies for sustainable transformation

When it comes to shaping the transformation of the agricultural industry, digitalization is a very important enabler for greater sustainability. With its latest digital innovation, Continental shows what this can look like in action – a sustainable weed control system that was recently presented at Agritechnica 2023.

This sustainable solution detects and removes weeds organically and with high precision. The system is based on optical sensor technology. Supported by software for the automotive industry and artificial intelligence (AI), it accurately detects weeds and destroys them with boiling water. The weed control system was developed and designed by Continental Engineering Services (CES), a company that specializes in development services for technology companies in various industries. Continental and its partners are now further developing the smart farming solution with the aim of industrializing it.

If you are interested in working with us to develop intelligent technologies for more sustainable and efficient agriculture, we look forward to hearing from you:

Mario Branco

Mario Branco

Head of Off-Highway at Continental