wellbeing news

A field full of ambrosia


In Drebkau, the allergenic plant grows everywhere. The affected municipalities call attention to the problem.
By Liesa Hellmann

Eye bleeding, shortness of breath, stuffy nose – "walking in the woods only affects me with a lack of air." This is how Drebkauerin Nicole describes the symptoms caused by the pollen of Ambrosia herb. Nicole does not want to be named by her full name in the newspaper. Although ragweed allergy is not a self-inflicted suffering, it still does not want to be a public example. Because the plant burdens them, it limits them in daily life.


A carefree summer walk with a dog in the fields and meadows behind the house is not possible. He always has medicines for allergic reactions, the dog must bathe before he enters the house, otherwise he carries pollen inside. "I already had symptoms of paralysis due to the plant," the woman says. The worst symptom is fear: "You never know how far."

The country must help



In Drebkau, Ambrose is encountered everywhere: on the road, on the sidewalks, on the playground. "Drebkau can't do it alone," he says. "The city needs the help of the village."

Mayor Paul Köhne (CDU) also sees it. Financial support is needed to purchase equipment that can mow the amputee plant before flowering. Ambrosia has been a problem in Drebkau since 2008, and since 2010 the pollen trap has been measuring the amputee pollen load in the city. Already ten pollen per cubic meter of air can cause allergic symptoms in sensitive people like Nicola, writes on the Federal Environment Agency's website. The pollen trap at Drebkau measured 38 pollen per cubic meter of air on August 13 this year, compared to 98 pips two days earlier.

In March this year, the mayors of Drebkau, Vetschau, Forst, Calau, Welzow and Spremberg, as well as the municipalities of Kolkwitz, Schenkendöbern, Neuhausen and the Altdöbern office, presented the document from the standpoint of the Brandenburg State Parliament. In the ambrosia field overgrown on the outskirts of Steinitz, they meet Thursday afternoon for a photo that works in a way that promotes "Country air instead of Ambrosia fragrance," the poster says.

Lottery against ragweed

Paul Köhne openly admits that the action does not take place shortly before the state election. "Of course we made that clear." But that should not remain. Municipalities are interested in the exchange, Mayor Drebkaus points out.

Also on site is Jens-Uwe Schade, spokesman for the Ministry of Rural Development (LELF). "We all see that there is much more to do," he says. But much has already been done. For example, a booklet was published educating farmers and lottery funds were issued to fight the Drebkau plant.

The plant cannot be completely removed

"Unfortunately, plant problems cannot be solved solely by crop protection or agricultural strategies," Schade says. "Where municipalities or private individuals have access to land, it is their responsibility." Last October, an Ambrose official took over a job with the Ministry, which municipalities and affected parties can contact. Coordinates projects of participating ministries.

Nicole has already lost hope that the ambrosia situation in Drebka will change permanently. One thing is for sure: the plant can no longer be completely removed. The goal is to push them back as far as possible.

    Heads of several cities and municipalities in the Spree-Neisse and Spreewald districts want more financial support in the fight against ragweed.

Heads of several cities and municipalities in the Spree-Neisse and Spreewald districts want more financial support in the fight against ragweed.
PHOTO: LR / Liesa Hellmann