In innovation center ‘de Kas’ by Van der Knaap Group, tests are being conducted with a diverse range of vegetable crops. The tests focus on various types of substrates and mineral versus organic nutrition for crops. This article will discuss the strawberry test conducted.
Last year, Van der Knaap conducted a strawberry test with the Favori variety, where they cultivated on coconut substrate for a year. In collaboration with Jan Robben of Flevo Berry, they will repeat the test this year. “Here we make the distinction between mineral nutrition and organic nutrition from our bioreactor”, says Karel de Bruijn, CEO Sustainable Growing Systems at Van der Knaap.
Ron van der Knaap and Karel de Bruijn are pleasantly surprised with the results
“During the test, we produced more than we normally do, which was a bit of a surprise. The goal is to, at least, produce the same when using our mineral nutrition. This time it was significantly higher at a nine percent increase. Which is excellent news for us,” says Karel.
These results have gotten Van der Knaap a new client. A grower from abroad who wants to grow organic strawberries. “I completely understand that decision, given the increase in production.”
“In 2021, the focus will be on sustainability”
The test will be conducted again next year, but this time around, the focus will mainly be on sustainability and getting a healthy product to market. Ron van der Knaap, CEO of Van der Knaap Group, explains: “This year, the difference in ingredients wasn’t that great. Over the year to come, we will look at what we need to add to make it even healthier. The focus will be on sustainability and health.”