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Water usage

Agriculture uses about 70 percent of the world’s fresh water. Shortages and changes in water availability pose significant challenges to food security. They affect growing seasons, pests and crop productivity, hindering farmers’ ability to produce food for a growing population.

We encourage growers to adopt conservation agriculture practices, which help them optimize water use, increase soil water holding capacity, reduce water runoff and build crop resilience to changing weather patterns. We measure what can be achieved on farms through our Good Growth Plan.

Water availability also impacts our own operations, especially in water-stressed locations. Our manufacturing sites continuously look for ways to further optimize water use; but our main focus is currently on more efficient water use in our seed supply chain, which is our principal water-using activity.

We report on our actions and performance in the all submissions or download our latest water security submission).

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How much water is needed to feed the world?

Water is one of the most crucial resources in food production, but it’s a finite resource.

Helping farmers manage water sustainably

Farmers must have the right tools and skills to prosper. We have products available – and in the pipeline – that improve the water productivity of plants and increase tolerance to drought and heat. Weed control using herbicides lowers the need for tillage, leaves roots in the soil and improves water absorption. Efficient irrigation systems deliver water to roots, and planting grasses or wild flowers around fields helps keep water in the soil. In combination, these practices dramatically reduce surface evaporation and water runoff.

Drought tolerant seeds, such as our AGRISURE ARTESIAN® corn hybrids, can help produce reliable yields in drier and semi-arid conditions. Our HYVIDO® hybrid barley seeds offer farmers consistently higher yields. Their root systems form earlier, with bigger and more numerous roots leading to stronger hybrid vigor, better water and nutrient uptake and stronger growth under stressful conditions.

When these products are combined with good management practices, agriculture is made more resilient to changes in climate and water availability. Our CONTIVO® solution combines innovative seed technology with proven conservation tillage practices, suitable equipment and appropriate use of fertilizer together with crop protection protocols to protect soil health while maintaining high yields.

Our GROMORE™ protocol provides guidance to smallholder growers for crop protection, seed, nutrients and water optimization and helps them overcome challenges resulting from water scarcity, labor shortages and productivity.

We continue to partner with growers and organizations around the world to research and promote further innovative solutions for water protection.

Water optimization in our own operations

We aim to reduce the water intensity of our operations and supply chain by 20% by 2030 compared to baseline 2016. We are working to minimize water use on productions sites and farms, whether operated by us or our supplies. This will benefit communities and the environment – particularly in water-stress areas – as well as our own operational efficiency. We will also form partnerships to develop more effective processes and supply chains.

Find out more…

Sustainable operations

Efficiency and sustainability go hand-in-hand, find out more.

Accelerated innovation for farmers and nature

We invest to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable and responsible way.

The Good Growth Plan

We’ve committed to reduce agriculture's carbon footprint and help farmers deal with the extreme weather patterns caused by climate change.