A Powerful Location
The Agricultural State
Bavaria continues to be the most important agricultural state and the largest producer of food in Germany. More than a quarter of the milk in Germany, for example, comes from Bavarian cows. More than half the area of the state is used for agriculture, which concentrates on providing the population with healthy, high-quality products.
Ecological farming is becoming more and more important in Bavaria and is expanding considerably faster than the national average. Today 28 per cent of all ecological farmers in Germany are located in Bavaria. In addition, many Bavarian farmers are going over to using sustainable raw materials for the production of energy. With bio-gas, wood pellets to produce warmth, and biogenetic fuels, Bavaria is leading the way as regards regenerative forms of energy.
From Asparagus to Hops
Agricultural production in Bavaria is to a very great extent in the hands of family businesses, which concentrate above all on growing corn, milk production, and cattle farming. One delicacy much admired by connoisseurs is Bavarian asparagus, which is grown principally in Franconia, in Abensberg in Lower Bavaria and in Schrobenhausen in Upper Bavaria.
Between April and June every year asparagus is cut in fields covering a total of 20 square kilometres (8 square miles). Another Bavarian agricultural speciality is hops. The largest hop-growing area in the world lies in the Hallertau between Landshut and Ingolstadt, and a quarter of all the hops in the world come from here. Hops are an essential ingredient of a further Bavarian speciality, since only hops, barley and water may be used to brew beer in Bavaria. This is provided for in the Bavarian beer purity regulations dating from 1516, the oldest food law in the world, by the way.
In Harmony with Nature
Bavarian farmers make an important contribution to landscape conservation and to the preservation of our cultivated areas. Harmonising agriculture with natural biological conditions involves actively protecting the climate, the soil and the water. With its programme for cultivated areas, Bavaria provides financial support for especially environmentally-friendly forms of agriculture and promotes farming according to the principles of ecological cultivation. Environmentally-friendly arable farming in Bavaria also makes use of up-to-date technology; regular soil sampling and special agricultural weather stations, for example, ensure that fertilizers are used in the best possible way ecologically.
The wine-growing region of Franconia
Wines from Franconia enjoy an excellent reputation among wine connoisseurs. The wide variety of soil types along the River Main between Aschaffenburg and Schweinfurt produces a rich range of high-quality wines. More than 6,000 winegrowers work here. Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner or Riesling - wine from Franconia is always something special. That is why in Franconia quality wines are not put into normal bottles, but into the unmistakeable "Bocksbeutel".