Every grower wants their greenhouse crop to be strong and healthy. That obviously involves the increasing use of natural means; after all, there are fewer and fewer approved chemical crop protection products.
This also generates plenty of work for companies like DCM. This Belgian company, too, is looking for the most effective natural solutions. DCM's R&D department is busy developing new products. Work begins at the company's laboratory, and the products are tested extensively in field trials. "Of course, a lot of them fail there," begins Annelies Justé, bio-rationals account, and project manager at DCM
"The laboratory is a very different environment from a field. And we want to add genuine, real value for cultivation and growers. Any doubt about a new product, and the development process is halted. We only launch products that excel in the field and greenhouse tests."
DCM ultimately wants to offer complete concepts for several crop groups. Such a concept should offer products for the plant's various stages that will benefit growers. That could range from a vegetative or simply a generative action to an organic crop protection product. You must, however, be highly knowledgeable about that crop. Only then can you develop the correct products and advise growers at the right time.
The first group's concept has already been realized: tomatoes. DCM has suitable products for each growth stage. These let the plants grow healthy and robustly, explains Annelies.
PMV-01 – just after planting
"The PMV-01 vaccination strategy is based on a unique, mild, stable Chilean PepMV isolate. It quickly colonizes the plants and protects them from PepMV damage. In crops with less available heat and light, as is the case this winter, this PMV-01 vaccination uses the least amount of your plant's energy."
Interact – First blooms
Interact gives the plants a generative boost. "Using Interact results in earlier and larger first production. It can be used in the cocktail, truss, and large segments," says Annelies.
Vitact F – Plant roots
Vitact F stimulates root growth. "It contains two different bacillus isolates and an organic carbon component, making this product work uniquely."
Impuls TD – Late spring
This mix of diverse Trichoderma strains boosts plant vitality in a stressful period. Combined with Vitact F, this product guarantees a vital plant strategy. "Think of the stress right after the first harvest or hot summer moments. We hear good things from growers who use this combination at the right times," Justé continues.
DCM has always been known for its organic fertilizers, both in solid and liquid form. Initially, that was only for open field crops. Now they also offer liquid fertilizers for greenhouse cultivation, including Viscotec Blue. You can use this product for conventional as well as organic farming. "It's a fast-acting organic fertilizer (NPK 9-0-5), which offers the nitrogen present in the form of rapidly absorbable amino acids."
DCM has been moving into the greenhouse horticultural market since 2011. Their first success was the launch of the PMV-01 vaccination strategy. Since then, they have invested heavily in this market. "My team is fantastic, and I work closely with people with theoretical and practical knowledge. That's great. We work alongside R&D and lab technicians and with growers in the greenhouse. We like that combination," Annelies concludes.