On a mild November morning, Ludwig Hirschberg, 56, settles down in his field. He kneels on black earth glistening in the sun. The young winter wheat is a few centimeters high and shimmers green. Hirschberg pricks out a little plant with a pocket knife, holds it between his fingers and says: "It looks great." Strong, healthy roots, many shoots. And, most importantly, there are no weeds growing between the plants that could rob them of light and nutrients. Before sowing, Hirschberg treated the soil with glyphosate, a total herbicide that kills all weeds. He also uses fungicides to combat fungi such as powdery mildew, which could attack the wheat in the next growth phase.
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