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Dutch Merlice grower more interested in coffee than tomatoes

Dutch grower Corné Zwinkels cultivates Merlice TOVs on 7.5 ha in Tinte. It is a modern, high greenhouse with a movable screen plus fixed foil during 6 weeks in winter. Corné has been involved with Next Generation Growing (NGG) courses for a couple of years, and this year, together with colleague growers, he organizes the tomato trial with the Capricia variety in the 2SaveEnergy greenhouse in Bleiswijk.

Corné has no successor or partner in the company and therefore this is the last cultivation year. This creates more time for another hobby for Corné and his wife, see www.dekoffieleut.com.

"It's quite a challenge to cultivate good tomatoes with only 10m3 gas/m2. In practice, great steps have been taken: from 1 m3 to 0.4 m3 gas for 1kg tomatoes. The 2SaveEnergy greenhouse always feels humid despite the presence of a dehumidification plant with heat pump," says Corné. "The production in kilos has been met, but there have been too many disruptions in the development. It may be that we went too far with warmer cultivation with a lot of light or by screening too tightly against emission with a high head temperature as a result. But it also may be related to the quality of pollen. It really is important that we focus on the weak spots in order to learn the most from this trial."

"At my own company, I also tried to increase the momentum in spring by cultivating warmer at a lower plant load. That was fine, but after mid-July, I tried to cultivate a lot more airy and cooler. That's important for the stamina of a tomato like Merlice. This year you can clearly see that we did not have enough light between week 26 and week 40. In a warm week in August, irregular trusses were produced in my greenhouse, just like in the trial. Also here this could possibly be caused by the moderate quality of the flowers, the pollen or the fertilization by the bees."


For more information:
De Koffieleut


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