French tomato grower Anne-Claire Goyer has been working with Cultilene substrate slabs and cubes for many years and is very happy with the results. She finds that Exact Air and RootmaXX complement one another perfectly and also speaks very highly of the support and added value Cultilene provides.
Anne-Claire Goyer is one of France’s leading greenhouse growers. She runs a cherry and cocktail tomato nursery with three locations – Serres de la Piogerie, Serres de Saint Léger and Serres de la Chapelle – in the Nantes and Rennes regions. In addition, Goyer is chair of the producers’ association Ydeal.
Ydeal has a total acreage of forty hectares of ultra-modern greenhouses. A large proportion of their products are grown on Cultilene’s Exact Air slabs, and the volume is increasing every year. Goyer also uses Exact Air. “In part of our 13-hectare nursery in the Nantes region, we have been working with Cultilene products for seven years. Exact Air slabs are our preferred choice because the water and EC content are extremely easy to control. These slabs are also very reactive. You can quickly achieve the optimal water and EC content in the root zone when conditions in the greenhouse change, no matter what time of day it is. This results in optimal root development throughout the slab.”
Goyer also finds the combination of Exact Air slabs and RootmaXX cubes extremely valuable. “RootmaXX is a homogeneous cube, so the roots spread out nicely through the cube and the water and EC content is easy to control. The roots also penetrate through to the slab very quickly. In addition, our planting hole configurations are specially adapted to our needs in terms of dimensions and positioning on the slab. There are also perforations between the cubes which enable the plastic film to be removed at any time. This allows us to limit any excessive root growth.”
Help with switching
Last year, Goyer took over a 17-hectare cherry tomato nursery in the Rennes region. Because of her positive experiences in the past, it made sense for the grower to work with Cultilene there as well. “The previous owner used a substrate based on coco fiber. We decided to switch to stone wool because this substrate is more reliable in terms of steering the crop. Cultilene helped us make the switch by guiding our crop managers through the process and providing them with extra knowledge.”
Since last year, Goyer has also been working with the CARA MET sensor. This new sensor provides a real-time picture of the EC, the water content, and the temperature in the root zone. “The fact that this sensor accurately measures both low and high EC values is a great advantage. Growing full-flavor tomatoes is a difficult process to steer and requires high ECs.”
Anne-Claire Goyer is happy with her working relationship with Cultilene for other reasons, too. “Everything is well organized and orders are closely monitored right up to delivery. Another plus is that the substrate slabs can be recycled at the end of the season. And on top of that, Cultilene’s prices are competitive.”
The grower also speaks highly of Cultilene’s expertise. “The people at Cultilene are extremely knowledgeable and are always happy to answer questions. They even invited us to visit various growers abroad, including in the Netherlands and Poland. So Cultilene really is more than just a substrate supplier. It is a fully-fledged partner, and rightly so.”
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