In the previous article, we invited Mr. Mao Weiping, China Affairs Manager of Rijk Zwaan, and Ms. Xu Fengjiao, Head of Kaisheng Haofeng Agricultural Technology Department, to share the development trend of industrial seedlings in China and the differences between Europe and the United States. In this article, we will continue to discuss how to operate a modern seedling nursery.
Hortidaily: What are the key factors to running a good seedling nursery?
Xu(Kaisheng Haofeng): "A good nursery needs to match the seeds, personnel, facilities, and equipment. The cycle of industrialized seedling cultivation is very short, usually about 30 days, and it takes 45-55 days for larger seedlings. In such a short production cycle, more than 20 production processes need to be completed, which requires standardized operations and strict control in every link to produce seedlings with controllable and guaranteed quality. Refinement, standardization, and digitization are very important. As far as digitalization is concerned, Kaisheng Haofeng and Alibaba have launched in-depth cooperation. There are more than 500 sensors and more than 1,100 controllers in the greenhouse. Our staff will collect various data every day and make corresponding decision-making adjustments through data analysis to further improve management efficiency. "
Mao(Rijk Zwaan): "The seedling nursery uses machines to sow seeds, which requires the seeds to have good uniformity and germination rate. High uniformity and good germination rate make it easier for nurseries to more accurately measure how many seedlings are needed and when to start seedling cultivation, thereby forming an efficient and standardized management system to help nurseries reduce operating costs. And high-quality vegetable seeds are exactly the advantage of Rijk Zwaan. "
Hortidaily: How do you view the cooperation between breeders and seedling nurseries?
Xu(Kaisheng Haofeng): "There is another problem in traditional seedling farms. There may be no signs of disease when the seedlings are delivered, but the disease will show up after 1 to 2 weeks after transplanting. The impact of this on large-scale greenhouse cultivation is irreversible. At Kaisheng Haofeng, our warranty is 21 days, which means that there will be no pests and diseases for 21 days after delivery. We need to provide high-trust products in order to achieve long-term cooperation with customers. "
"The seedling nursery is a bridge between breeders and growers. We can help breeders to bring varieties to the market faster. From the perspective of long-term planning, growers have purchased our seeds, and products that meet quality requirements will also be available in the future." It can enter the sales system of Kaisheng Haofeng, which can not only reduce the planting risks of growers but also protect our seedlings and realize the long-term development of the brand."
Mao(Rijk Zwaan): "As a global high-quality vegetable breeder, we provide a series of high value-added crop varieties. Through cooperation with professional seedling providers, on the one hand, we can actively obtain market information and, at the same time, connect with professional growers through nurseries to better promote our products. In terms of the current (high-tech greenhouse) market situation, the tomato is currently recognized as a crop with relatively high economic value. At present, high-tech greenhouses generally focus on fresh, delicious small tomatoes and snack tomatoes. But we have also noticed that the proportion of medium and large fruit tomatoes used for cooking is also increasing, which is a market trend in the future. We need to actively cooperate with seedling nurseries to better serve the market together. "
Hortidaily: What is the future plan of Kaisheng Haofeng seedling nurseries?
Xu(Kaisheng Haofeng): "Our seedlings are completely open to the market. Of course, we ourselves are currently one of our largest customers. Currently, the total production capacity of all seedling nurseries under Kaisheng Haofeng is about 350 million plants, and the production capacity of seedlings on the rockwool is about 5 million. We can provide high-quality and stable seedling supply to the greater group. At this stage, we only make tomato seedlings, aiming to improve the quality, meet the needs of most domestic markets, and serve customers well with high-quality products. The amount of vegetable seedlings used in China is very large, with an annual amount of about 70 billion plants. At present, we mainly meet the needs of domestic customers. In the future, with the increase in production capacity, we will also consider exporting. "