The LfL today
The conditions and challenges of agriculture and the tasks and structure of practice-oriented research are subject to constant change. In 2003, the competencies of various state research centers in Bavaria were combined to form a new facility – multidisciplinary, solution-oriented and focused on agriculture as a whole. The LfL is directly subordinate to the Bavarian State Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forestry (StMELF) and is entrusted with the following areas: Application-oriented research, Implementation of EU and national guidelines and programs, Training and Counselling.
Research has tradition
The history of the Bavarian State Research Center is closely linked to the Freising-Weihenstephan science site. Thus, the forerunner of today‘s LfL Institute for Agricultural Engineering was the Academy of Weihenstephan, founded in 1864. The Institutes for Crop Science and Plant Breeding, Plant Protection, Animal Breeding, Animal Nutrition and Fisheries also resulted from former testing and research institutes. The scientific results of these institutes helped structure predominantly small, rural agriculture in Bavaria to improve their production techniques and services. This was an urgent need for the nutrition of the urban population which at the end of the 19th century was growing rapidly.
Fit for the future
Structural changes and higher social standards for the environment and animal welfare as well as for food quality have determined the development of agriculture in Bavaria since the 1950s and 1960s. Therefore, the later State Research Center for Nutrition was founded in 1953, followed in 1965 by the State Research Center for Business Administration and Agricultural Structures. Both facilities are institutes that complete the spectrum of research in the LfL today. The challenges for agriculture remain in the 21st century. The growing global population goes hand in hand with an increasing demand for food products, agricultural raw materials and energy resources.
Climate change with changing rainfall and rising temperatures is also seen now in Bavaria. Biodiversity is disappearing,
rapidly changing price and cost conditions make a stronger focus on market and product cycles necessary. Last but not least, the demands of consumers on the agricultural and food sectors are increasing.
The Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture believes it has the duty to make a significant contribution to meeting these challenges:
- to provide citizens with safe and quality food and raw materials
- to nurture and protect the cultural landscape
- to maintain vital rural life and economic areas
- to successfully meet climate change, e.g. with new production systems and adapted plant varieties
These tasks can only be dealt with if land use is geared to the principle of sustainability. This means that the economic efficiency of agriculture is just as important as environmental aspects and social conditions under which the people live and work.
In the service of agriculture
The ultimate goal of the LfL is to encourage a sustainable agriculture and food industry in Bavaria.
- to transfer results from basic research to farm practice,
- to strengthen the competitiveness of agricultural enterprises in the face of global challenges,
- to pass on new skills and technical developments by means of training,
- to position local agriculture as a partner for the food industry,
- to initiate important projects for common welfare with EU and national programs,
- to develop and secure an environmentally friendly, animalfriendly and socially responsible agriculture and
- to preserve an attractive cultural landscape.
The customers of the LfL are primarily farmers, the food industry, politicians and citizens. It is also aimed at technical
administrations, project partners, self-help organizations, associations and decision-makers from business and commerce, working with agriculture.