At the innovation centre 'de Kas' (the Greenhouse, in Dutch), Van der Knaap continuously test their products, develop new ones and regularly conduct trials for customers or other third parties. Through these tests, the company gains knowledge of all kinds of crops and cultivation techniques. Ultimately, this results in new products, or innovations. Like previous years, Van der Knaap has a full schedule of trials and research.
"A short trial with strawberries serves as preparation for a study into the continuous cultivation of strawberries that will take place in our innovation centre from August next year. Themes that are central to this year's trial with Phalaenopsis are: saving energy, preventing pot worm and increasing the crop's resilience", the team says.
During several vegetable trials in 'de Kas', they are testing whether bell peppers can also be grown in containers, what the effects are of a 'living soil' with compost and worms, and whether tomatoes can be grown in a fully circular way. In addition, they are looking at the effects of different substrates on tomato cultivation and how they can use the nutrient solution from the bioreactor in a cultivation in the soil. In a test with hydroponic lettuce, they compare the effects of the nutrients from our bioreactor on the crop with mineral nutrition. In addition, they compare different plugs.
In recent years, there has been a growing need for substrates with a smaller amount of peat and more sustainable cultivation methods. That is why they are conducting research into new, safe, renewable and circular raw materials.
Switch to circular nutrition
Last year, Van der Knaap used both mineral nutrition and organic nutrition from our bioreactor. This year, they are fully committed to using the circular nutrient solution from the bioreactor. This means that they no longer use mineral nutrition in their trials, unless it concerns a comparison test.
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Van der Knaap