Plant protection is about protecting crops from diseases, pests and weed competition. Plant protection is not just about chemical control, but also encompasses crop rotation, projections, choice of cultivar and mechanical and biological methods.
Swedish agriculture is treated with almost 2,000 tonnes of chemical plant protection products each year. This can cause leaching of persistent substances into water bodies and affect biodiversity. The handling of chemicals on the farm can also involve direct health risks for the farmer. Lantmännen is a major player in the Swedish market in sales of both plant protection products and seed. Contributing to the development of sustainable methods of plant protection is a natural part of our responsibility from field to fork.
Successful plant breeding facilities
Lantmännen's work on sustainable plant protection is based on meeting the requirements for minimum environmental impacts and risks to health and food safety, while also providing our growers with the conditions for good profitability and yields.
Lantmännen has its own successful plant breeding facilities, where we are developing new varieties of our agricultural crops, such as wheat, barley and oats, and producing seed that is well suited to the growing conditions on our customers' farms. We are investing around SEK 250-300 million per year on research and development, with a particular focus on developing grain varieties, crop production and biological plant protection. We also provide advisory services for farmers on areas such as choice of cultivar and crop rotation.
Biological or thermal plant protection alternatives to chemicals
In 2019, 48% of the seed from Lantmännen was biologically treated or untreated. Biologically treated means that the seed has been treated using naturally occurring microorganisms or heat-treated to provide increased resistance to pests, thereby achieving optimum growing conditions
Plant protection policy
Lantmännen's plant protection policy includes guidelines on selecting plant protection, and on the use and handling of chemical protectants, in order to minimise risks and adverse effects on health and the environment.