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Delphy hygiene protocol bears fruit for cucumber grower

"We haven't had any problems with the virus for two years now"

Cucumber grower Jeroen Verheul from Maarssen has been working on the development of a hygiene protocol together with Delphy. This protocol for a clean greenhouse as a starting point for clean cultivation is now bearing fruit.

Jeroen has a 3.7 hectare company in Maarssen. He has invested for over twenty years and has turned the family business into a modern one. "We used to have a lot of trouble with fusarium. A few years ago, we had a lot of trouble with the virus. It got worse and worse and it started earlier and earlier, until I started cleaning everything: removing the foil, cleaning the gutters and the greenhouse, cleaning the recirculation process. We removed dead ends from the pipes. The water has to be able to flow away immediately to the well, and that well has to be clean too."

There are three crops per year, with the company aiming for 200 cucumbers per m2. A special feature is the internal transport of the harvested cucumbers, which are brought to the hall by a robot cart and placed in a buffer system fully automatically. The carts are then filled with empty crates and go back to the greenhouse unmanned, saving costs every day. Jeroen opts for variation in his work: in the morning the plants are harvested, in the afternoon they are sorted in the (cool) shed.

Hygiene protocol Delphy
Together with Delphy, Jeroen has worked on the development of a hygiene protocol. Experience has taught them to develop guidelines for the flushing of pipes, the removal of drain water, and the use of products. Jeroen: "Too much of a certain disinfectant caused damage. To combat the virus, we now use agents that are safe for cultivation, without residue or vapor effect."

The hygiene protocol guides the work sequence, the approach, and the use of products. It is set up per company, and includes steps such as removing organic material, cleaning, removing plastic, and disinfecting. The order in which the greenhouse is cleaned is essential. If the greenhouse is clean, the next step is to prevent contamination. By being alert to symptoms, an emerging virus can be isolated quickly.

Why it works
Delphy is convinced that working accurately is the road to success. Ewoud van der Ven, one of the consultants: "To achieve this, a company-specific plan is drawn up and its implementation is supervised by a consultant. The focus is mainly on the hygiene process. The protocol allows for all products available on the market. Together, advisor and grower determine the most suitable product.

Jeroen: "We work very meticulously. No organic material is left in the greenhouse, we work with as much new material as possible, such as rock wool and plastic. The recirculation process is under control. Just changing agents did not provide the solution for the virus; structured cleaning was the answer. For two years now we have had no more problems with a virus; the hygiene protocol has proven itself here."

For more information:

Jeroen van Buren
+31 (0) 6 51 59 14 30

Ewoud van der Ven
+31 (0) 6 20 39 82 73

Rens Smith
+31 (0) 6 26 51 86 49

Stefan Hendriks
+31 (0) 6 82 44 05 97

Joris Mulder
+31 (0) 6 53 86 23 18

Danny Verwoerd
+31 (0) 6 51 58 06 78 

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