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Nadir Laaguili, Agrona:

"More bacteria can also mean more stable growth"

It was long thought that bacteria was something to combat, but now it is clear that this idea isn’t true for horticulture. According to Nadir Laaguili of Agrona it is not about combating bacteria, but about achieving the right balance. For this, the company developed a real plug-and-play nursery for beneficial, aerobic bacteria.

Nadir this year at the Canadian Greenhouse Conference
"Look at a virus, for example," says Nadir. "You cannot get rid of that. It turns out that something like that is always present in the crop. We also see it with bacteria: if you have a sterile, lifeless environment, they can easily strike and there is nothing to limit their growth." It is one of the reasons why Berkel Agrona is committed to creating a stable and healthy soil life with the help of aerobic bacteria. "With beneficial, aerobic bacteria you can keep the balance stable and create a balanced soil life. This bacteria also keeps the drip lines clean. The organic material is converted into inorganic material and that again is nutrition for the plant."

Aeration system
Oxygen is essential for the development of aerobic bacteria. That is why Agrona developed the Oxybull aeration system. It is a kind of vibratory plate that pumps air through a special membrane fabric and thus introduces millions of miniscule bubbles in the water basin or silo. The increased oxygen level - measurable down to the substrate slab - also ensures better plant health, in addition to the favorable growth conditions for the bacteria. "A better root system develops, more growth and higher productions," according to Nadir. "And you need less chemicals." The company supplies the device in combination with their organic fertilizer AG Stim line.

Bacterial culture
Agrona has developed the ABR system especially for the production of bacteria: a nursery for aerobic bacteria. The bioreactor consists of a tank filled with a membrane and with water and a connected compressor. Bacteria have a large adhesion surface, thanks to the membrane in the tank. The linked compressor provides the aeration of the water. "In combination with the nutrients, conditions arise for optimal multiplication", Nadir shows. By vibrating the membrane, the bacteria are released in a controlled manner and thus, together with the aerated water, are released into the irrigation system.

"With the ABR system, we see a clean drip line and a high oxygen content at the end of the drip line. We use this to check the entire system", Nadir explains. The system is already in service at a seed grower in Enkhuizen. French growers have ordered three units and Spanish and Mexican growers will be working with it. "Especially at warm temperatures it is a challenge to keep the oxygen content in the water in check. Then our systems offer a solution."
More stable cultivation
"Our corporate philosophy is that we are pursuing a healthy and a vital crop," Nadir concludes. "That also makes it easier to cultivate. Your EC is more stable and therefore less correction is needed. A higher plant load or different weather conditions won’t be a problem, because your crop is in balance and so can take a beating. It is not a miracle remedy, certainly not. It is only an assurance of a clean pipeline and a guarantee that the nitrification of your soil life is in order."

For more information:
Nadir Laaguili 
Agrona B.V.
Tel : + 31 (0) 10. 7371451
Mob :+ 31 (0) 6.21515915

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