Forfatter: Kea-Lena Talbot

Document your sustainable development to benefit your business

Your first question might be: what exactly is an ESG report? ESG stands for Environment (E), Social (S), and Governance (G), and to make an ESG report is a way to document the sustainable development of your business. In this article, we explain how ESG reports can be beneficial to you and how it works.

Farmers deliver essential food, feed and fuel to the world. Sustainability can be defined as minimizing impact on the planet while meeting the needs of consumers and communities. Your agricultural business, like every business, is deeply intertwined with environmental, social, and governance concerns and the subjects represent possibilities to pursue as well as risks to avoid.

If you own and farm land it is an advantage to begin to document your sustainable efforts and areas of actions in an ESG report sooner rather than later. ESG-reporting can help point out business opportunities as well as risks for farmers and landowners. At the same time, it serves as documentation of current sustainability efforts and progress. The documentation functions as a sustainability assurance and risk assessment to your stakeholders.


What are the components of the ESG report? 

The E in ESG, environmental criteria, includes the resources your company takes in, the waste it discharges, and the consequences for living beings as a result. For an agricultural enterprise important areas to focus on include water and air quality, nature and biodiversity, soil fertility, and optimal resource use. Not least, E encompasses carbon emissions and influence on climate change.

S, social criteria, addresses the relationships your company has and the reputation it fosters with the people and institutions in the communities where you farm the land and do business. For agriculture, S translates into areas such as employee well-being and working conditions, livestock health and welfare, as well as local anchoring and interaction with the local community.

G, governance, is the internal system of practices, controls, and procedures your company adopts in order to govern itself, make effective decisions, comply with law, and meet the needs of external stakeholders. Working actively with company strategy, a thorough risk management scheme, and third-party certifications, like Global GAP, are ways of establishing good governance of your company.


A strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposition can create value for you in five essential ways:

Top-line growth: A strong ESG proposition helps companies tap into new markets and expand in existing markets, while it also drives consumer preference.

Cost reductions: Resource efficiency is a step in the sustainable direction while also optimising economic outcome.

Productivity uplift: A strong ESG proposition can help attract and retain quality employees which is very desirable as employee turnover lowers productivity significantly. At the same time, it can enhance motivation and instill a sense of purpose.

Investment and asset optimisation: When it comes to ESG, it’s important to bear in mind that a do nothing approach is usually an eroding line, not a straight line. While investments to update your operations can be substantial, continuing to rely on less sustainable stables, equipment, or practises can be the most expensive option in the end. The rules of the game are shifting all the time: Bans or limitations  on less sustainable production will likely  introduce new constraints. Consumer preferences shifting market shares towards greater sustainability will affect market value of production facilities including farms that are not up to date.

Regulatory and legal interventions: Company behaviour considered unsustainable by society is prone to taxes and penalties, like carbon emissions. On the other hand, measures towards greater sustainability are sometimes subsidised by the government or the EU like subsidies for investing in green technology or eco-schemes, part of the EU CAP reform, which aim to encourage the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices.


A strong ESG proposition might look as follows:
Top-line growth Attract customers with more sustainable products: Some very big players in the food sector like Orkla, Nestlé, and Unilever are already requesting more sustainable farming methods like conservation agriculture or regenerative agriculture from their suppliers. Achieve better access to resources including financing.
Cost reductions Lower energy consumption. Reduced pesticide use.
Productivity uplift Boost employee motivation. Attract talent through greater social credibility.
Investment and asset optimisation Enhance investment return by better allocating capital for the long term (e.g., more sustainable buildings, equipment, and processes on farm property). Ensure your farm’s market value. Avoid investments that may not pay off because of longer-term ESG issues.
Regulatory and legal interventions Documenting responsible conduct and sustainable development. Earn EU subsidies and/or government support.


The benefits of ESG reporting are many, and at Agroganic, our consultant Kirsten Marie Risbjerg has great experience on the topic and is ready to assist you with creating your ESG proposition. Contact us today at to learn more about what ESG can do for you and how we can help you.

Meet our new consultant Jeppe Grabow!

At Agroganic, we are lucky to have Jeppe Grabow as the newest addition to our consultant team. Jeppe has many years of practical experience with large scale farming in Estonia where he was in charge of management of fields and machinery at a 2000 ha property.

Jeppe is an expert in optimizing operations on large scale agribusinesses and is passionate about helping farmers improve their practices.

My greatest strength as a consultant is the amount of practical experience I bring to the table. I know what works in the field and what doesn’t because I’ve tried most of it. I have the advantage of being able to relate to the farmer because I know the ins and outs of the day to day work in the field.”

In Estonia, Jeppe also facilitated cooperation with machinery dealers to arrange machine rentals, so he has a lot of experience with all types of farm machinery. He became an expert in identifying issues, figuring out solutions, and outsourcing assignments to make operations run as smoothly as possible. Now Jeppe has returned to Denmark to use all his knowledge in a new context.

What excites me most about the position in Agroganic is to get the opportunity to work with passionate and knowledgeable colleagues who I can learn from. I’m eager to dive into the new position of going from a hands-on approach to a consultant and I hope I can use all my experience to make a difference for other farmers.”

Jeppe will primarily work with our Danish clients in Jutland, but will also work with our clients in Estonia and the Baltics, where his experience will be invaluable.

My favorite thing is to help farmers optimize their processes and when they can see that my recommendations help their business. Many countries don’t have independent consultant services, so the prospect of giving advice from a farmer’s perspective and not a profit or sales perspective, is very interesting to me.”

Many agribusinesses are increasing in size, and Jeppe predicts that this can cause management issues if the farmers aren’t properly prepared for it. He wants to help farmers be prepared for the future and the challenges it might bring. That is also why he has worked with regenerative approaches like no-till whenever possible, especially in oil seed rape and winter wheat.

When it makes sense, why not do it? It’s less work and it’s good for the soil and for nature. I’d like to see agriculture develop in a direction that leaves more room for biodiversity.”

In the future, Jeppe will be working with precision farming as well, joining our other experts in helping clients get started with precision farming.

We are excited to have Jeppe on the team and we hope you will give him a warm welcome.

The principles of direct drilling

Direct drilling is a convenient way to establish your crop. It can save time and costs, and it’s good for the soil. During direct drilling, seeds are placed in the stubble of the previous crop without any prior soil cultivation. This leaves the soil pores intact, conserves soil moisture, and prevents germination of the soil seed bank. Minimum soil disturbance is a key principle of regenerative agriculture and is a great way to cultivate a healthy soil.

Direct drilling has many benefits but how do you make sure the conditions are optimal?

Typical issues farmers face when they want to do direct drilling are problems with wet soil, cold soil temperatures because of the layer of straw from the previous crop that prevents the soil from heating up as fast as a plowed field, and that the crops emerge later” crop advisor Kristian Thomsen states.

Luckily, there are ways to work around all of these issues.

To use direct drilling, the soil needs to be dried up enough, so the soil pores won’t be damaged when driving in the field and create water-logging. It is better to wait until the soil is dry enough than to establish early and risk closing the soil pores, preventing water from draining.

You can reduce the risk of wet soils in the spring if you make sure you have a good soil structure with a large earthworm population to create macropores, which will reduce waterlogging and create better drained fields. Establishing a good cover crop with taproots in the fall will also help draining the fields in the spring.

If you have problems with cold soil because of residual straw from the previous crop, it can be beneficial to remove the layer of straw with a straw rake, allowing the soil to warm up more quickly.

Direct drilling can cause the crops to emerge a little later than in plowed fields but this can be made up for by increasing the number of seeds when sowing. The individual plant might grow less bushy, but an increased number of plants will compensate for this” Kristian explains.

Preparing a good seedbed is essential for a well-established crop when using direct drilling to make sure the seed is placed precisely and has good contact with the soil. Choosing the right seed drill for the field is important. There are two types of direct seed drills – tine drills and disc drills. With a tine drill, a seed tine is pulled through the soil and the seed is placed behind the tine. With a disk drill, a roller disc cuts a groove in the ground where the seed is laid and the groove is pressed in again. There are pros and cons to both types.

An advantage of the tine drill is that it works well to place seeds underneath the surface of crop residue, which increases the likelihood that it will be placed in direct contact with the soil. The tine drill also creates mineralization in the groove which can help earlier germination of the seeds. The cons, however, are that there is a risk that residual plant material on the field can be dragged along with the drill, and that the tine causes slightly more soil disturbance, risking larger germination from the soil seed bank.

With disc seed drills, a disc cuts through both crop residues and cover crops, which makes it better suited for fields with larger cover crops, but there is an increased risk of hair-pinning (crop residue being pushed into the seed slot) which can compromise the seeds’ contact with the soil.

If you are just starting out with direct drilling, it can be a good idea to start with crops like peas or fava beans that have large seeds and lots of germination potential since they are less sensitive to seedbed issues. Spring barley on the other hand requires very precise drilling and optimal conditions to become well-established.

Are you eager to get started with direct drilling or do you have questions about the methods you are currently using? Contact crop advisor Kristian Thomsen at if you would like to know more.

Get started with precision farming

Precision farming is a great tool towards a more sustainable way of farming. The available technology allows us to achieve higher yields, save costs, increase biodiversity, and attain better efficiency from field to field. The benefits are many, but how do you know where to start?

The important thing is to take it one step at a time. The possibilities with the new technology are endless and that’s why it’s necessary to start out small. Each individual farm must discover the most beneficial way to incorporate precision farming to reach its full potential.

Using precision farming for graduation of seeds, fertilizer, and pesticides can save costs, and when you redistribute your input to where it’s needed, it’s beneficial for the environment as well. Spot spraying with herbicides only where the weed actually is instead of the whole field, can save up to 60-80% of herbicide doses, depending on the weed pressure.

With rising costs of pesticides and fertilizers as well as tighter legislation, it can pay off to look into how the new technology can help your agribusiness continue to thrive in the future.

At Agroganic, our consultants are experts in precision farming and figuring out which solutions are optimal for your fields. We offer application maps for graduation of seeds and fertilizer as well as spot spraying, and we’re ready to assist with equipment and technology to find the best solution for you. We can also help you with data management: when your tractor drives in the field, it collects valuable data that holds enormous potential if you know how to utilize it. Existing data can already be used to optimize efficiency on an individual field level. Collected data can be a valuable asset in negotiations with stakeholders as it gives us the opportunity to show how we use technology and our professional knowledge to improve our farming practices for the benefit of the environment as well as our bottom line.

Figure out how precision farming can be beneficial for you and have a talk about equipment by contacting us at

The Path to Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture isn’t achieved overnight but there are many steps you can take to get you closer to that goal. No till farming is one of the key principles in regenerative agriculture and at Agroganic we have the pleasure of working with clients who dare to take this step.

One of our clients who has been practicing no till farming for many years is Niels Hansen. Niels hasn’t ploughed his fields since 2008 and doesn’t even own a plough. He stopped ploughing his oil seed rape fields in the 90s and has since only driven in his fields with his direct seeder. Instead, Niels lets the cover crops and the microorganisms do the work.

Agriculture is constantly evolving, and for Niels, improving his soil is an ongoing process. He is passionate about working with the soil instead of against it to discover which processes it can handle on its own to the benefit of both his business and nature.

There are a lot of benefits to no till farming but for Niels, the most important one is that it gets easier to be a farmer. He notes that it might take a while to restore the soil, but when you have, it does a lot of the work for you. To him, it’s a big advantage to save precious time when he doesn’t have to plough and till, and it doesn’t hurt to save money on fuel either. And then it’s even good for the soil.

Another benefit Niels has experienced is that he doesn’t have to spray with insecticides anymore and he hasn’t sprayed with fungicides for the past three years either. Instead, the soil and crops are doing the work for him. In the future, he hopes to further reduce his input of pesticides.

If Niels’ story got you interested in learning more about no till farming, our consultants at Agroganic are experts on the subject and ready to help. Contact us at for more information.