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Max-Eyth-Allee 100

14469 Potsdam


Tel. +49 (0)331 5699-0


Coordinating institute

Crop production

Crop production pilot plant (Photo: ATB)

As the primary producer of biomass for the "4F - Food, Feed, Fiber, Fuel" crop production plays a central role in the bio-economic complex. Crop production is the source of raw matter for food and feed as well as for bio-based materials and the energetic use of biomass. The production of biomass has a particular impact on the environment as well as economic and social influences. Hence all management decisions are crucial for a sustainable production system.

Precision crop production faces socially relevant challenges, such as expressed by the global sustainable development goals (SDG): increase productivity while making sustainable use of natural resources and preserving biodiversity, ecosystems, soil fertility and natural habitats. Further aims are the environmentally compatible management of chemicals and the reduction of impact of invasive species. In order to persist in this area of concflict, crop production needs to be more efficient and better adapted to environmental conditions.

We are therefore working on solutions for a sensor-based, local resource management in precision farming and precision horticulture. Here, our goals are an efficiency increase in crop production through adaptive process control that enables the reduction of natural resource degradation, decreases uptake rates and emissions, alongside with the development of technical solutions for a sustainable intensification of knowledge-based, locally adapted and precise crop production.

Innovative sensor and data driven technologies create new possibilities for the precise and knowledge-based management of crop production. By combining individual strings of process control into system-optimization tasks, the focus widens to a connected agriculture or "Agriculture 4.0". The segments of (automated) data-acquisition, -processing and -analysis as well as issues of connectivity and machine automation, which are essential for the development of the Agriculture 4.0, are a logical development of the precision agriculture approaches. At the ATB, Agriculture 4.0 is understood as a holistic approach describing and managing effects in the bio-economic system-of-systems which goes far beyond mere technical development but includes the area of information and knowledge management. The gathered information is included in the development of complex physiological and physical models, which in turn enable a precise control of production processes in the sense of sustainable intensification.

Field of activity "Soil fertility"

  • Optimized use of soil resources
  • Determination of the variability of soil characteristics through temporal and spatial highly resolved soil fertility characterization
  • Mathematical modelling of relations between soil characteristics and sensor signals
  • Automatic sample feeding and conditioning for the mobile use of ground sensors
  • Impact of farming practices on soil characteristics
  • Collection of soil fertility and plant parameters for the differentiation of plant stress


Field of activity "Precision crop protection"

  • Reduction of resource deployment through target area related crop protection
  • Development of measuring principles for the detection of the crop plant condition inside crop formations
  • Sensor-based identification of plant diseases and plant competitors
  • Sensor-based monitoring strategies for invasive species


Field of activity "Precision horticulture"

  • Non-destructive in-situ acquisition of (physiological) crop plant conditions
  • Automated identification of the fruit development stage
  • Processes from production through storage to packing 


Field of activity "Automation"

  • Sensor technology for exact status detection for a precise process control 
  • Automation of crop plant production procedures with added value for agriculture, society and environment
  • Technical solutions to increase dissemination and acceptance of precision farming
  • System technology concepts in crop production to generate added value for agriculture and society

Program events

Postponed: INI2020 in Berlin originally scheduled for May 3-7, 2020

For Covid-19 updates concerning the 8th Global Nitrogen Conference of the International Nitrogen...

Oct 11-12, 2020: Water use assessment of livestock production systems and supply chains, Berlin

The expert-workshop serves to advance and harmonize methods and techniques and improve water use in...

Program news

ATB at IPM 2020 in Essen

Feb 3, 2020: Under the motto "Borders are blurring - an industry in flux", research institutes...

Flugtraining für Landwirte

12. Dez. 2019: Was ist bei der Erstellung von Luftbildern mit Drohnen zu beachten? Welche Software...


Präzises Modell für den optimalen Fruchtbehang

6. Juni 2019: Brandenburgs Agrar- und Umweltstaatssekretärin Dr. Carolin Schilde informierte sich bei ihrem gestrigen Besuch am ATB-Forschungsstandort Marquardt über Ergebnisse des EIP-Agri Projekts...

Projekt SunBot: Autonome Pflegehelfer für das Beerenobst

14. Aug. 2018: Ein autonom fahrender, mit Energie aus Photovoltaik gespeister Traktor soll künftig in Strauchbeerenanlagen gezielt die Pflege des Unterwuchses übernehmen und damit helfen, Ertrag und...

Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V. · Max-Eyth-Allee 100 · 14469 Potsdam · Germany · Tel. +49 (0)331 5699 0 · E-mail