Koppert's soil improver, Vidi Funda, adds more than 25% to the crop yield in soil-grown strawberries, says the company. Independent trials carried out in Belgium, and the Netherlands show that the country's favorite berry thrives when this biological soil improver is added to the soil. Vidi Funda further enhances soil life and restores biodiversity to improve the plants' resilience.
Koppert's Product Manager, Guido Roozemond, says previous trials in outdoor berries such as strawberries and blueberries have shown good results. Research organization PC Fruit carried out a successful trial of outdoor strawberries in Belgium last year.
"The trial was carried out on three replica fields and showed a 25% improvement in yield. That is a significant increase and shows that our soil improver does its job well, not only in greenhouses as shown in the past but also outdoors."
Soil health benefits
Vidi Funda is easy to use and can be distributed by fertilizer spreaders outdoors. The product includes over 15 ingredients that vary from natural substances derived from legumes, maize, and seaweed extracts, to a number of minerals. The soil improver reduces the leakage of synthetic fertilizers into the groundwater so that these can be used more efficiently. But as Roozemond points out, the main benefit is soil health: "The organic matter changes the biodiversity in the soil. Not only does the mass of microbes increase, but the variety improves and has a positive impact on the crop."
"The restored balance of beneficial bacteria and other microbes increases the competition for food and space in the soil and weakens harmful pathogens. As it acts as a buffer for synthetic fertilizers, there is also less leakage of nitrates and phosphates into the groundwater. Good for the crop and the environment at the same time." Roozemond adds. "It's also in line with the European Green Deal, approved in 2020, aiming for a reduction of fertilizer use by 20% and the reduction of nutrient loss by 50% in 2030."
Healthier soil means the grower will have a crop which is less susceptible to abiotic stresses like drought or heat and an increase in crop performance and yield.
Increasing demand for strawberries
There is a high demand for strawberries and other berries, which are of increasing economic value to growers. The fact that supermarkets have promoted the health benefits of berries in recent times has meant that growers continue to increase their production volumes of this crop in order to keep up with the demand.
"Besides a significant increase in crop yield of up to 25,6% in conclusive trials, we have observed a rewarding increase in the shelf life of strawberries when using Vidi Funda as a soil improver in another trial. We are now looking at the potential benefits of this soil improver for other crops. It is already also being used successfully in chrysanthemums, flower bulbs, and pot plants," Roozemond concludes.
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